Grassroot Soccer’s project Equalize! focuses on shaping positive and equal gender norms and improving sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) among adolescent boys and young men (ABYM) in South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. The ultimate goal of Equalize! is to promote gender equality and SRHR by working with ABYM to build their assets around SRHR, increase their access to high impact health services, and promote their adherence to positively protective and healthy behaviours. Grassroot Soccer will implement its all-male, gender transformative curriculum, SKILLZ Boy, delivered by young men trained as peer educators and mentors, “Coaches.”
Utilizing football-based metaphors and activities to engage ABYM, the curriculum is designed to reflect the unique needs, interests, and health behaviours of ABYM, challenging ingrained negative gender norms, promoting positive masculinity, and complementing the all-girls curriculum programme delivered in the same countries. Leveraging the demand generated by the curriculum, GRS will hold football-based health events to provide access to SRHR services to both participants and their broader communities.