By: Andrew Cane Chilapondwa
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) says it has a major role to play in fighting the HIV/AIDS pandemic in the society.
Speaking during the opening ceremony of Protect the Goal Campaign (PGC) coaching course at Mpira House in Chiwembe on Wednesday morning, General Secretary, Suzgo Nyirenda said it was important for the FA to be fully involved in the fight against the deadly virus as one way of reaching out to the community as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility.
“As you know that we have been running football in Malawi for so long, we thought it wise to get involved with other important aspects of life. In particular, the health part of individuals in the country. We have used Protect the Goal Campaign that started three years ago by targeting young people especially from the primary schools.
“We have been working hand in hand with other partners particularly UNAIDS under the project by spreading essential information using football in order to protect the young ones from contracting the deadly pandemic,” he said.
He also revealed that the association has received K19 million from National Aids Commission (NAC) for the campaign.
“We have received K19 million from NAC for the campaign to be successful. With the package, we are very hopeful in reaching out to many young people everywhere. We will use the Presidential Cup as part of the campaign in order to reach more than 5000 young people across the country,” he explained.
The project which will run for a year will see coaches who are being trained at FAM, working with young men in all corners of the country.
On his part, the project’s co-ordinator John Nyirenda said he was happy with the way the campaign is being run.
“It is a very a very exciting journey to see how the project is gaining momentum. This will give young people across the country the needed opportunity to receive the message from the coaches who are being trained by FAM.”
“More than 6,200 young men have already benefitted a lot from this project where they got tested and received counselling and we have mobilized 210 thousand young people from different districts from which we have disseminated the HIV/AIDS prevention messages. The development is encouraging but we can still do more and better than this as we are targeting to reach out to more than a million people,” said Nyirenda.
The coaching course started on Tuesday through which local coaches from different communities will get trained by the FA. The workshop will end on Saturday at Chiwembe Technical Centre.