With a long-term, holistic and high impact approach, the Kick4Life Academy is designed to support participants towards long-term education, training and employment, and the chance to achieve a sustainable livelihood. Find out more below.
Health education, life-skills & HIV testing
Lesotho has the world’s second highest HIV prevalence (23.2%). This has had a devastating impact on family and community structures and our health education and life-skills curriculum is designed to empower young people with the knowledge and skills to remain HIV free. Delivered by local coaches, the K4L Curriculum includes a range of interactive and fun activities focused on HIV prevention, promoting gender equality and diminishing stigma and discrimination surrounding HIV/AIDS. The Curriculum has been developed to specifically target some of the key drivers of the epidemic in Lesotho including drug and alcohol abuse and a culture of multi-partner relationships.
Running in tandem with the curriculum, our Test Your Team campaign combines football and health education activities with access to voluntary counseling & testing, linking those testing positive to medical treatment, counseling and support at their local clinic. Kick4Life also provides ongoing support to young people living with HIV through peer networks, encouraging treatment adherence and mentoring.
Football is the most popular sport in Lesotho and is played all over the country by girls and boys. Most young people do not have access to structured coaching or proper equipment or facilities, instead using home-made balls and unmarked pitches. Kick4Life fills this gap, offering young people the chance to play regular football with qualified coaches in a safe and inclusive environment.
As well as a great way to get young people involved, football coaching is a key ingredient of our whole model, motivating young people to stay involved, improving physical and mental health, and helping to develop key life-skills such as communication, teamwork and leadership.
Mentoring & referrals
Our mentoring scheme provides long-term and holistic support to some of the most disadvantaged young people in Lesotho, including children living on the street, those living with HIV and vulnerable young women and girls. It is based on an understanding that an intensive approach is required to address often complex and multiple challenges faced by the young people.
Mentors conduct an initial assessment when a child joins the scheme, using our Child Status Index tool to measure well-being and need in the following areas: health, education & skills, shelter, nutrition, psycho-social and protection. This provides an initial benchmark and the foundation for an individual care plan. Participants meet regularly with mentors who assess progress and manage referrals to specialist agencies such as healthcare providers and those offering immediate assistance with food and clothing. The mentor is crucial in ensuing this support is delivered in a coordinated way and they often accompany the participants to appointments with external agencies.
Where appropriate they also support family re-integration, particularly with children living on the street. This can include helping to address the issues that resulted in the child living on the street, such as a lack of food at home. Our mentors play a role in helping the family to access support that can help them become sustainable such as teaching skills for growing their own fruit & vegetables and helping the family to access healthcare and other available support.
Support towards education & employment
Our end goal is to empower participants to gain long-term, education, training and employment, so that they can achieve sustainable livelihoods and economic independence. To achieve this we run a basic skills course aimed at helping children, particularly those out-of-school, to achieve standard levels of attainment in literacy, numeracy and IT skills. For young people aged 15+ we also run Fit4Work, an intensive course aimed at helping young people to develop the skills they need to gain employment and succeed in the workplace, The course covers topics including CV writing, teamwork, interpersonal skills and workplace conduct. Sessions are also run by external experts including our corporate partners such as Standard Lesotho Bank who deliver a workshop on personal finance At the end of the course each participant is linked to a work placement and these can lead to full-time employment.
Our own social enterprises also provide employment and training opportunities for participants including our restaurant, No.7 and the Kick4Life Hotel & Conference Centre, based at the Kick4Life Centre. We currently provide 13 traineeships at No.7 through which the young people are trained in all aspects of restaurant management and catering including food preparation, hygiene, front-of-house and financial management. These internal opportunities provide structured development in a safe and trusted environment, giving participants the skills and confidence to gain sustainable employment at the end of the traineeship.
By supporting young people in pursuing successful futures, where they can themselves contribute back-in to the development of their own community, and by developing our own social businesses, we believe we are playing an important part in the wider development of a healthy and prosperous Lesotho.
See for yourself how the Kick4Life approach can make a real difference to lives in Lesotho…
Click on any of the images below to read a case study of how Kick4Life have helped real people in Lesotho to change their lives and build a future.