Fact Sheet Expert Opinion First Person


Young leaders fighting AIDS

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© UNICEF Ethiopia

"I am crazy about football," confesses 20-year-old Yidnekachew, who coaches the Tabor Wegagen football team, an initiative of an anti-AIDS non-governmental organization called the Tabor Wegagen Association. The team promotes football as a healthy, empowering and fun alternative to unsafe sex, drugs and violence. Players have become so dedicated to the sport and the cause that, when there's no money to buy football boots, they even play barefoot.

"We compete against 12 other clubs," says Yidnekachew. "This keeps the boys off the street and out of trouble. They do not chew chat or do other harmful things. This is important during school holidays, especially over the long summer break."