Face-to-Face Aids Project over the weekend launched Tournament of Hope in which they are using sports as a vehicle to reach out to communities on HIV and Aids prevention and awareness.
The launch took place at Kangâ€™oma, T/A Tsabango in Lilongwe on Saturday and Sunday with 16 teams from 55 villages taking part.
The event was graced by Face-to-Face US-based director Ken Wong and Ernst â€˜nâ€™ Young managing partner Shiraz Yusuf.
Also present were Crossfit athletes from Zurich Jeff Grand, Apiyo Amoro and Moris Moritz who are partnering Face-to-Face in this project. They brought football equipment such as balls.
Wong said the concept of using sports to mobilise communities has proved the best way in transmitting aids and development projects.
“It is a new concept and has never been tried anywhere else, but here. We also work in Cambodia and other Asian countries. With the success seen today, we hope to use sports again to reach communities in other countries,” said Wong.
Yusuf concurred with Wong, saying sports has proved worldwide to be a unifying factor of all entertainment activities.
During the two-day tournament, the community, including traditional leaders had their blood tested.
Face-to-Face local director Mike Chikakuda, who is responsible for Tournament of Hope success said he was impressed with what the project has accomplished.
“This was a pilot project and we are satisfied. We plan to do similar tournaments in as many villages as possible to carry health and development messages. We finance youth groups in development projects such as winter-cropping and animal husbandry,” said Chikakuda.
Eight teams took part in the soccer tournament, but at the end of the day, Kawole were crowned the champions after beating Tilerane 7-6 in post-match penalties.
Netball also drew eight teams and Tilerane were champions after beating Njobvu 6-0.
Prior to the matches, Kangoma Youth Group director Lameck Mandevu took Wong and a delegation of Face-to-Face from Zurich, Switzerland on a tour of some of their projects.