Care & Support Initiative

Care & Support Initiative

Lesoto
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Budget: 
$250,000 - $500,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Kick4Life uses the power of sport to transform the lives of vulnerable young people in Lesotho. We aim to support their transition from a position of extreme disadvantage to one where they can pursue a successful future for themselves and their country. This includes:
- Empowering people with the knowledge and life-skills to adopt healthy behaviors
- Linking people to key services that are essential to their overall well-being including health, shelter and protection.
- Breaking-down stigma and discrimination surrounding HIV/AIDS.
- Creating opportunities for people to pursue an independent and economically prosperous future, and the chance to contribute to the development of their own communities.
This holistic and long-term approach to key to achieving our long-term goals.

About Project

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

There are now many projects across the world which are using sport as a tool to address a wide range of social challenges from health and education to peace-building and disaster relief. Kick4Life initially focused exclusively on the HIV/AIDS crisis in Lesotho, which has the world's third highest prevalence (23.2%). We remain the only organisation in Lesotho using sport in this way and our Test Your Team campaign has been a successful innovation which uses the power to break down stigma and promote positive peer pressure to encourage testing and link people to treatment and support. However, our key innovation has been to develop a holistic approach to development through sport, recognizing that HIV/AIDS and health are only one part of the challenge and that to achieve real change for disadvantaged youth all areas of well-being must been addressed: shelter, protection, education, nutrition and employment. Central to this has been developing the mentoring model to provide an intensive intervention and to develop strong partnerships with service providers to ensure participants receive coordinated support form specialist providers. For children living on the street this has involved mentors working with local people to support family and community reintegration. In terms of achieving real long-term change we believe this holistic approach makes our project distinct to others in Lesotho and to others in our field. Our innovative social enterprise activities also empower young people to achieve economic sustainability through projects which benefit the whole community.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

- Kick4Life Curriculum - a health education and life-skills development course delivered by role models and peer educators that contains a range of fun and interactive sports-based activities that carry key messages that increase knowledge and encourage behavior change. - Test Your Team - a series of one day football festivals that combine a football tournament with voluntary HIV testing and counselling. Those who test positive are referred to ongoing medical treatment and support. - Mentoring. Each vulnerable child is attached to a trained mentor who provides ongoing support over a long-term period. The mentor develops a care plan across six key areas of well-being and refers the child to key services including health, counseling, education and family reintegration. - Volunteering and support towards further education and employment. Participants are given the chance to build confidence and skills by volunteering for Kick4Life and to access external work placements. Our Fit4Work course for those aged 16 and over supports people in developing the skills to gain and sustain employment. - Social enterprise. We are also developing a range of income-generating activities for participants. This includes the ReCYCLE scheme which gives youth living on the street the chance to earn income for school fees and uniform by collecting recyclable waste from clients who subscribe to the service. As our participants face very complex and multiple challenges this combination of projects is crucial to achieving holistic and long-term change.
About You
Organization:
Kick4Life
About You
First Name

Steve

Last Name

Fleming

About Your Organization
Organization Name

Kick4Life

Organization Phone

+44 (0) 7710999169

Organization Address

429 Great North Road, Eaton Ford, St Neots, Cambs, PE19 7GH

Organization Country

, CAM

Country where this project is creating social impact

, MS

How long has your organization been operating?

More than 5 years

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Innovation
What stage is your project in?

Operating for 1‐5 years

Tell us about the community that you engage? eg. economic conditions, political structures, norms and values, demographic trends, history, and experience with engagement efforts.

Lesotho is one of the world's most underdeveloped countries, and the HIV/AIDS crisis is the key factor in preventing Lesotho from progressing economically. The HIV prevalence is 23.2 percent and more than 100,000 children have been orphaned. This has had a devastating impact on family and community structures, and the workforce has been severely depleted. As a result the economy is weak and many men of working age leave to work in South Africa, weakening further the social fabric.

While relatively politically stable the government has struggled to cope with this crisis and young people face many challenges. In Maseru, where the Kick4Life Football for Hope Centre is based, there are more than 24,500 children who are identified as orphans and vulnerable children, and many of these live on the streets or are engaged in child labor. These young people are at particular risk to HIV infection, malnutrition and a lack of future prospects. This is compounded by cultural issues such as multi-partner relationships, gender inequality, stigma and myths surrounding HIV.

Over the last 5 years Kick4Life has worked intensively with the target group and has worked hard to engage the local community in the delivery and shaping of our programs through a number of community consultations. As a result our focus is on supporting young people in remaining HIV and developing the behavior changes that will help them avoid becoming another lost generation. Indeed we are positive that through widespread health education and with a holistic approach, that Lesotho can pursue a brighter future.

Share the story of the founder and what inspired the founder to start this project

In May 2005 Steve & Pete Fleming, two brothers from the UK with a passion for sport, undertook a challenge to dribble a football for 250 miles in 10 days across Malawi to raise funds for an AIDS orphanage. In completing the challenge they saw the incredible power of football and sport as a tool to engage young people in Africa, and its potential to contribute to development.

The experience inspired them to found Kick4Life from scratch and six years later the charity has worked with more than 25,000 young people in Lesotho. Lesotho had emerged as the most suitable location to set up Kick4Life, with a great need surrounding HIV/AIDS, no other programs utilizing sport, and a range of organizations keen to support the project, including the Lesotho Football Association. Kick4Life's programs have now won a number of awards and the charity has 14 full-time staff and more than 50 volunteers. The charity also runs the Lesotho Football for Hope Center, a sports, health and education facility that will enable Kick4Life to deliver its life-changing work in a dedicated setting for many years to come.

As founders of Kick4Life Pete and Steve are committed to making a long-term difference in Lesotho and to increasing the reach and impact of the organization.

Social Impact
Please describe how your project has been successful and how that success is measured

Kick4Life has supported more than 600 youth through the Care and Support Initiative, linking participants to re-housing, health services, educational scholarships, psycho-social counselling and supporting family re-integration. In addition the youth have completed our health education and life-skills curriculum with the opportunity to voluntarily test for HIV.

Impact is measured through the Child Status Index which measures the well-being of each participant across six keys areas of including shelter, protection and nutrition. This enables mentors to benchmark participants and develop care plans and make referrals based on their specific needs. It also enables us to track their progress on the program and closely monitor the impact and success of the intervention.

This system of assessing holistic need and measuring holistic impact matches the innovative approach of the whole initiative which is founded on the basis that youth facing such complex challenges need a cohesive and coordinated support mechanism to help them move towards a brighter future.

Kick4Life also has an established assessment structure for the Curriculum to measure pre and post course knowledge and changes in attitude and behavior. Our research also shows that 99% of those testing HIV positive at Kick4Life events remain on treatment six months after testing.

How many people have been impacted by your project?

101-1,000

How many people could be impacted by your project in the next three years?

More than 10,000

Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact

To achieve growth Kick4Life is aiming to both secure additional funding support and grow our social enterprise activities, particularly based around the Kick4Life Centre.

Task 1

Research and approach potential funding partners who match the objectives of Kick4Life's innovative Care & Support Initiative. Secure funding partnerships.

Task 2

Expand our OVC ReCYCLE Scheme which enables participants to generate income for their school fees and equipment by undertaking collections of recyclable waste from a growing client list.

Task 3

Complete the construction of the Kick4Life centre and fully implement a full social enterprise strategy for generating income for sustainable delivery include a corporate league and Internet cafe.

Identify your 12-month impact milestone

During this period Kick4Life will put in place additional project infrastructure and implement delivery that will enable us to reach an additional 1500 participants per year

Task 1

Recruit and train additional mentors required to reach increased numbers of vulnerable youth.

Task 2

Strengthen referral partnerships to ensure high quality referral systems are in place to ensure the highest possible quality of intervention.

Task 3

Continued implementation and growth of social enterprise strategy and recruitment of social enterprise manager.

How will your project evolve over the next three years?

Over the next three years we hope to reach 4,500 severely disadvantaged young people through a high impact intervention. In doing so we aim to strengthen and expand our referral partnerships and provide increased progression routes for participants to enter long-term further education, training and employment.

The Kick4Life Centre will provide a dedicated and aspirational environment for the delivery of the program and for implementing a social enterprise strategy which is driven by participants and which embraces and involves the whole community. We aim for the project and the centre to become a vibrant hub of enterprise and community development.

Sustainability
What barriers might hinder the success of your project and how do you plan to overcome them?

The current economic environment makes securing funding for project delivery more challenging. For this reason Kick4Life is pursuing a social enterprise strategy to generate its own income, as well as developing funding partnerships. This is a central part of our plan for long-term sustainability.

The challenges faced by the target group are complex and multiple, and for this reason Kick4Life has developed the referral partnership and holistic approach. This means that health needs are not addressed on their own but in the context of the wider social challenges faced by children living on the street and orphans and vulnerable children.

Another challenge is to ensure quality and this is where selecting the right referral partners is so important. For this reason Kick4Life has invested much time and effort in developing strong partnerships with carefully selecting the strongest providers so that participants can access the best possible support. We have also put in place partnership structures with agreements outlining roles and responsibilities to ensure effective communication and seamless, coordinated delivery.

Tell us about your partnerships

Multiple organisations are involved in the project, notably the referral partners with whom Kick4Life works closely to ensure a holistic and specialist approach. These partnerships include:

The Baylor College of Medicine, an important referral partner for health services. When a child has been identified as HIV+ or requires other medical treatment the K4L mentor accompanies the child with a referral letter to the clinic for their first appointment with the doctor. The child is then attended by a doctor for a medical examination and is encouraged to join the Teen Club for HIV+ youth which meets once a month.

The Lesotho Red Cross, an important referral partner for Education & Skills and Food & Nutrition. A key reason that children live on the streets is a lack of food at home which means they leave to seek other sources of income e.g. begging, prostitution. As a result K4L refers families in need of food assistance to referral partners such as the Lesotho Red Cross.

Similar referral partnerships are also in place with Habitat for Humanity, Lesotho Save the Children, and the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare. We have also established partnerships with corporate such as Standard Lesotho Bank.

Explain your selections

Individuals - Kick4Life is supported by a small number of individuals who make regular donations.

Foundations - Kick4Life has secured grant partnerships with a range of Foundations including Nike (Red), GIZ, the Vodafone Foundation, Football for Hope, Laureus, UNICEF and USAID.

Businesses - funding and volunteering support has been secured from companies including Vodacom Lesotho, Nedbank, the Premier League and Standard Lesotho Bank.

National government - Kick4Life works in partnership with a range of ministries including the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare who support out testing events and psycho-social counselling.

Customers – as part of our social enterprise activities Kick4Life is increasingly delivering services to customers. This includes 35 customers who have subscribed to our OVC ReCYCLE service. Notable clients include US Embassy, American Ambassador, Peace Corps Office, Metolong Water Authority, PIU Land Administration Reform, Alliance Francaise and the PSI Office.

How do you plan to strengthen your project in the next three years?

Over the coming three years we plan to strengthen the project by:

- Expanding the range of high quality referral partners with whom we work, particularly around health services and local health provision
- Strengthening the partnership process, putting in structures such as Memoranda of Understanding and developing enhanced communication and regular meetings between the project partners.
- Further involving participants in the planning and delivery of the program.
- Increasing the range of volunteering opportunities and the range of progression routes available for participants so we can support long-term and sustainable change in their lives.
- Further enhancing our health education and life-skills curriculum to focus on the particular challenges faced by young people in Lesotho.
- Increasing our Social Enterprise income generating activities to build the sustainability of the project and also to promote economic vibrancy and opportunity for the local community.

Challenges
Which barriers to health and well-being does your innovation address?
Please select up to three in order of relevancy to your project.

PRIMARY

Health behavior change

SECONDARY

Lack of access to targeted health information and education

TERTIARY

Lack of physical access to care/lack of facilities

Please describe how your innovation specifically tackles the barriers listed above.

A key focus of our work is to encourage behavior change, particularly around health which is a crucial factor in overcoming the HIV/AIDS crisis in Lesotho. For example tackling a culture of multi-partner relationships and alcohol and drug abuse. Helping young people develop life-skills is integral to this and is therefore a central part of the Kick4Life Curriculum.

Hand-in-hand with this is empowering young people with the knowledge and information to stay healthy and avoid infection to HIV/AIDS.

A fundamental part of the Care & Support Initiative is linking people to health services. Young people often do not know that services exist and do not have the confidence to access them. The role of our mentors is critical in linking young people to these health and other services.

How are you growing the impact of your organization or initiative?
Please select up to three potential pathways in order of relevancy to you.

PRIMARY

Enhanced existing impact through addition of complementary services

SECONDARY

TERTIARY

Influenced other organizations and institutions through the spread of best practices

Please describe which of your growth activities are current or planned for the immediate future.

Linking to complementary services is an integral part of the program and is therefore something that is constantly taking place. We are always looking for new, high quality referral partners to enhance impact.

We are currently delivering the program in the Maseru district of Lesotho, and we are planning in the next three years to extend the geographic reach. There is definite potential for us to scale this project to new areas and other young people in need.

By working with numerous other organisations we have certainly had a positive impact on encouraging partnership working a culture of collaboration in addressing the needs of vulnerable children in Lesotho. We are very keen to continue this further and to promote further innovation in the field.

Do you collaborate with any of the following: (Check all that apply)

Government, Technology providers, NGOs/Nonprofits, For profit companies, Academia/universities.

If yes, how have these collaborations helped your innovation to succeed?

Effective partnerships are an essential part of the Care & Support Initiative and these collaborations have been critical in the success of the innovation. Working with the government has provided practical support and ensured that our endeavors compliment the overall national effort to address the HIV crisis in Lesotho. Technology providers such as Vodacom have helped us promote our message nationally through mobile technology and we have worked with many NGOs through our growing referral network.

Partnerships with companies have helped us secure funding for delivery and also gain volunteering support from employees, and we have worked with a number of universities including the University of Johannesburg who have conducted studies of work and helped to shape future strategies.