The trusty interns were called into a meeting recently to review details of an agreement Doc and the big boss Mo had recently completed with the Bulawayo City Council (BCC). The city council maintains youth centers all over Bulawayo and sponsors programming and recreation at the centers, including the opportunity to undergo comprehensive vocational training. GRS recently formed an important agreement with the BCC to allow us access to every single youth center in the city during our VCT campaign this year. This crucial permission will allow GRS to bring HIV prevention programming to a sector of the youth population in Bulawayo that it does not currently reach through school-based interventions.
We also discussed “legacy pitches” we are responsible for restoring this year. One of our grants includes money to improve three soccer pitches around the city and put up GRS signage along with the signage of the sponsor. The pitches will then be open for the entire community to use, and we hope to build them in particularly disadvantaged neighborhoods around Bulawayo to help revive some struggling communities. We’re aiming to get our first Legacy Pitch opened up by December so hopefully we’ll have some awesome pictures to post!
In other news, our VCT count for this quarter has increased from 1 to 4 so we’re hoping to test up to 1,000 people for HIV by December. Here’s a great article about the VCT program in Zambia which illustrates what we’ll be trying to replicate here in Zimbabwe: http://pulitzercenter.org/
reporting/zambia-lusaka-hiv- testing-campaign-grassroot- soccer