The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is an international development agency that promotes the right of every woman, man and child to enjoy a life of health and equal opportunity. Sport personalities help UNFPA develop and deliver HIV education and services for in- and out-of-school young people. UNFPA supports countries in using population data for policies and programmes to reduce poverty and to ensure that every pregnancy is wanted, every birth is safe, every young person is free of HIV/AIDS, and every girl and woman is treated with dignity and respect.
UNFPA supports Ministries of Youth, Sports and Education to provide information and services for the promotion of purpose-driven life-skills and responsible sexual behaviour through schools and National Sports Commissions. The use of sport as a vehicle for responsible sexual behaviour and HIV prevention at sports events, including football matches and athletics, has yielded positive results in Ghana, Nigeria, Niger, Benin, Ethiopia and Botswana. The partnerships strengthened capacities of Ministries of Youth, sports associations and youth NGOs to provide Information, Education and Communication (IEC) and Behavior Change Communication (BCC) materials, counseling and other reproductive health services.
As the convening agency of UNAIDS co-sponsors’ Interagency Task Team (IATT) for Young People and HIV/AIDS, UNFPA is fostering a partnership to fight HIV/AIDS among young people with the African Football Confederation (CAF) to implement the African Youth Charter and regional and global instruments.
UNFPA, in collaboration with Pathfinder International and PATH, implemented in the past years the Africa Youth Alliance Programme in several countries including Tanzania, Botswana, Uganda and Ghana. This programme aimed to address youth issues using a comprehensive approach with sport as a powerful entry point in key strategies being implemented. Similar initiatives were implemented in other countries, including Nigeria , as part of adolescent sexual and reproductive health projects.
In Ghana, the project recognized the potential of Sports in improving access to quality ASRH information and Service. The Youth Friendly Service (YFS) component of the AYA programme adopted two implementation approaches through clinics and outreach outlets using peer educators as back up to the facility based service delivery. The Challenge Cup implemented by the National Youth Council was an outreach programme aimed at using both Peer Service Provision (PSP) and Non-Traditional Condom Distribution (NTCD) to reach out to the young people with Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) needs through the use of football. The PSP and NTCD strategies use Peer Service Providers and Non-Traditional Condom Distributors as agents to reach out to young people with information and services on ASRH.
The AYA/NYC project dubbed “Challenge Cup” involved using the appeal of soccer in Ghana to enhance the participation of young people aged between 10-24 years in ASRH. The project targeted young people with condoms and other contraceptive and YFS services in the three-year period.
In Nigeria, UNFPA has established reputation in the use of sporting events as an entry point to raise awareness on reproductive health issues including HIV/AIDS, condom use, promote behaviour change and conduct voluntary counseling and testing. UNFPA has provided funds for production of IEC materials, purchase of test-kits and technical support in the development of messages. To this end, thousands of female and male condoms, fact-sheets, leaflets, posters, stickers and other materials are being distributed during the festival. Peer counselors trained by UNFPA are in charge of the voluntary counseling sessions.
Appointment: 23 January 2002
Scientist-adventurer, Psychiatrist and Aeronaut
UNFPA Goodwill Ambassador for Switzerland
Appointment: 16 November 1999
Programmatic Focal Points:
Mr. Akinyele Dairo
Dr. Fatou Sarr-Diop
Email : sarr(at)unfpa.org
Communications Focal Point:
Mr. Abubakar Dungus