Grassroots Soccer; Zinduka, SKILLZ Girl, and PC Skillz
PC Skillz is Tanzania’s grassroots soccer youth empowerment program. The PC Skillz program empowers community role models and teachers (Zinduka Coaches) to deliver interventions. These lessons teach topics such communication, decision-making, leadership, HIV/AIDS, and malaria. Formerly known as Zinduka, PC Skillz is a PEPFAR funded initiative and has been a very active program in Peace Corps Tanzania since its start in 2011.
PC Skillz uses sport as a vehicle to deliver life skills and HIV education to young people ages 10-19 years. The program empowers community role models to deliver an activities-based curriculum that uses analogies and language from the game of soccer to deliver key messages and facilitate vital conversations that promote healthy, responsible, risk-reducing behaviors among Tanzanian youth. The PC Skillz curriculum was developed by Grassroots Soccer, a non-profit organization who is among the leaders in the sport for development and youth HIV education fields.
A girls-targeted and led intervention, SKILLZ GIRL combines an activities-based HIV prevention and life skills curriculum with fair play soccer and peer-led community outreach activities. Led by Volunteers, Skillz Coaches (female counterparts), and enhanced by the unique culture developed within the SKILLZ GIRL program, this girl-centered initiative creates a safe space for adolescent girls to play noncompetitive soccer, take action in their community, and have vital conversations about HIV and AIDS.
Community role models are trained as PC Skillz Coaches to deliver interventions to girls and boys ages 10-19. The Coaches undergo an intensive Training-of-Coaches (TOC) course that teaches them the basics of HIV and AIDS, participatory facilitation methodologies for youth, gender awareness, role-modeling, how to give feedback, and monitoring and evaluation techniques. After the training, the Coaches are qualified to begin delivering the 12- hour, 10- practice (session) PC Skillz program to youth in their communities.