Eradicating HIV through Sports
The Bible Society of Kenya (BSK), held the Shoot-out HIV event, a programme of the Good Samaritan project to sensitize youth on responsible sexual behavior and how to make informed choices on HIV issues.250 teenagers from various slums in Kisumu were tested for HIV in a campaign held to reduce new infections among the youth. This event brought together over 1500 youth from Kisumu County and was held at the car wash Grounds in Kondele.
The purpose of this event was to sensitize youth from different backgrounds to appreciate the importance of the Bible in their lives and for the future. The youth aged between 15 -19 years of age are very vulnerable to HIV infections.The event involved a football tournament that featured 16 teams from the slums of Obunga, Kasarani, Manyatta, Kamakokha and Nyawita. The teams consisted of 8 ladies’ teams and 8 men’s teams.
There were also teachings on HIV/AIDS and testing sessions.
This event follows a research done by the Ministry of Health on the current HIV prevalence which is at 5.6%, yet the intended level is zero HIV status. This means that a lot still needs to be done to eradicate the HIV pandemic.
The Bible Society of Kenya’s approach is drawn from the teachings of the Good Samaritan in the Bible who reached out to a needy person as an act of kindness. This story is found in Luke 10:25-37.
The BSK General Secretary Mrs. Elizabeth Muriuki emphasized that based on the Ministry of Health research, prevalence rate of HIV infection among the youth is still high. This necessitates preventive measures as well as behavioral change among the youth. She added that the Good Samaritan Programme is aimed at inculcating good morals and positive behavior change among the young people.
Erick Okyioma a representative from Global Network of People living with HIV noted that most youth are sexually exploited by adults, which translates into new infections.The winning girls’ team was Manyatta United girls’ team and the men’s team was Urusi FC. Both teams received branded trophies and jerseys from Bible Society of Kenya in appreciation for their achievement.
The partners involved in the event were
- Liverpool VCT,
- Kisumu Youth Football Association,
- Federation of Kenya Football and
- the area (Muhoya) MCA Hon.Joshua Ramuga
A similar successful event was held in August 2015 in Nairobi’s Soweto slum. This forum is held annually and is open to youth from 15-24 years to enjoy fun activities and fellowship as they engage with Scripture.
Present at the occasion was the Bible Society of Kenya Western Zone Operations Manager Mr. Dalmas Oleko, who expressed his great joy on the occasion noting that young people are the leaders of tomorrow. “We look forward to a society where young people will read, appreciate and apply God’s word in their lives as it will give them direction in all their undertakings.”Also present were members of the Good Samaritan team comprising of Mrs. Lynner Orengo, Pst. Anthony Gatonye and Mr. Joseph Irungu. We thank God for a successful event.