|Play Soccer Zambia|
Play Soccer Zambia and the Student Leaders Against Malaria kick the ball to End Malaria
From 25 September to 27 November 2008, PLAY SOCCER Zambia participated in the Global Peace Games, whose theme was focused on Malaria Prevention. Seven communities, 25 coaches and 1,415 children in Chazanga, Chipata, Bauleni, Kamanga, Kalingalinga, Mandevu and Zingalume communities/sites celebrated the GPG on different days, but the same features characterized the events.
The Malaria Foundation International chose PLAY SOCCER Zambia as the recipient of a kind donation from the Columbus Foundation to establish malaria awareness and education programs. The Global Peace Games were used as a mean to start the End Malaria - Blue Ribbon campaign in each of the communities stated above. However, not only PLAY SOCCER children took part in the activities, other children and older community members also attended the event to see exactly what the children were doing.
Malaria education activities had been going on during the PLAY SOCCER Sessions and continued during the Global Peace Games, but this time the children were in the fore front leading others in malaria education activities. Most children took part in drama activities, singing and dancing. Others even recited poems on malaria. There was also a question and answer session whereby the coaches asked questions and the children provided answers, demonstrating their knowledge on this topic
In addition to providing malaria education and awareness, PLAY SOCCER purchased 100 Insecticide Treated Mosquito nets (ITNs) that were distributed to 100 PLAY SOCCER children and coaches. By doing this, we were encouraging our own children to use nets and stay healthy before we can actually go outside PLAY SOCCER.
The children were happy to have received the ITNs. PLAY SOCCER Zambia is still lobbying to other organizations to donate mosquito nets towards the campaign. The student leaders and their coaches all wore the ‘End Malaria Blue Ribbons’ symbolizing their commitment to contribute to the eradication of malaria in Zambia.In other sites like Kalingalinga, a team of 20 children were invited to the Global Peace Games event and were part of the larger group that were educated on malaria.
All in all, more that 1500 children were reached during this program including spectators.
As the year ended, PLAY SOCCER mobilized its players and youth to take a leading role in environmental clean up activities. This included filling up of potholes that could be breeding places for mosquitoes, as well as clearing garbage in the communities. Now that schools are opened PLAY SOCCER will engage in more activities in schools were it will recruit more student leaders. The PLAY SOCCER student leaders that were identified will continue to be leaders in educating their peers on the best practice of preventing the number one killer disease in Zambia.
The student leaders against malaria from five out of seven PLAY SOCCER communities managed to do an environmental clean-up activity. The other two have not been able to do it yet because of disturbances caused by the rain.Chipata community or site went as far as cleaning old people’s homes, by slashing tall grass and filling up potholes around those particular homes. Although there were no mosquito nets to be distributed during this activity it was clear that PLAY SOCCER children were setting an example to the community on how to prevent malaria by getting rid of the breeding places for malaria. As schools open in January PLAY SOCCER hopes to visit schools as well.
A boy in Kalingalinga takes on a role of a woman during malaria campaign
Bauleni sitte poses for photo with ITNs at Global Peace Games
Children pose for a photo after getting ITNs during Global Peace Games
Student Leader Against Malaria does a malaria education play during Global Peace Games 2008
Updated: 31 July 2009