Hoops 4 Hope
Crowding, poor housing and unemployment are dominant features of Cape Town townships. The youth population is large and very much at risk for the health issues plaguing their communities where high rates of HIV, drugs, alcohol abuse, and gender-based violence, including rape, are common. By combining the joy of sports with education, Hoops 4 Hope (H4H) helps young men and women prepare to combat the tremendous challenges in their communities, especially regarding HIV/AIDS, and offers a leadership model and employment opportunity for young people to become peer coaches.
EMpower’s sixth and final grant to H4H supports the coordination and delivery of their peer-led life skills curriculum to hundreds of youth through soccer and basketball programs. In addition, H4H are revising their training to address the personal and professional needs of two levels of youth coaches. As junior and senior role models of the program and as a result of their direct contact with younger peers, the impact of this mentoring will trickle down to younger beneficiaries. The revised approach will be tested over the course of the coming year and systematized for future participants.