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Promoting Primary HIV and Violence Prevention and Social Asset Building for Very Young Adolescents

Grassroot Soccer: SKILLZ Core

location_on South Africa
SKILLZ Core is a mixed-gender, rights-based, gender transformative intervention for very young adolescents that considers the profound changes brought about by puberty. It offers positive youth role models, increases self-concept, physical health, and school performance, creates safe space to discuss power dynamics and gender norms, and introduces core sexual and reproductive health topics.
Grassroot Soccer Zambia, SKILLZ Core Participant
"I learnt that my body is mine and I have grown up with this confidence which has equipped me to take care of myself as a girl."

Grassroot Soccer Zambia, SKILLZ Core Participant


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Anyone can submit their innovation to HundrED Open. All information on this page is provided by the innovator and has not been checked by HundrED. Innovation page has been created on June 15th, 2021
Key figures

Innovation Overview

Target Group
600 000
Updated on July 22nd, 2021
about the innovation

Why did you create this innovation?

Grassroot Soccer recognizes that the transformative period from 9-14 years old is a unique moment to create positive relationships between very young adolescents and the health system, shape lifelong health-seeking behaviors, and mitigate factors that put girls and boys at risk of HIV, violence, and other negative health outcomes.

How does your innovation work in practice?

Grassroot Soccer's mixed-gender SKILLZ Core intervention for very young adolescents ages 9-14 is an evidence-based, interactive, social asset building curriculum designed within a rights-based, gender transformative framework and considers the profound changes brought about by puberty. SKILLZ Core is delivered in schools or other community-based settings and is implemented by young adult mentors trained as “Caring Coaches” who facilitate interactive games, physical movement, and learning-by-doing to address core sexual and reproductive health and rights topics including HIV and violence prevention, gender, power dynamics, and future orientation/goal setting.

How has it been spreading?

Grassroot Soccer and its network of more than 60 Implementing Partners have implemented SKILLZ Core in 39 countries, reaching more than 600,000 youth ages 9-14. SKILLZ Core has been employed as a primary HIV and violence prevention intervention for very young adolescents on numerous U.S. Government programs (including through United States Agency for International Development [USAID], Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], and through the Peace Corps), positioning SKILLZ Core for greater scale.

If I want to try it, what should I do?

For more information on Grassroot Soccer and SKILLZ Core:


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Achievements & Awards

June 2021
June 2021
Innovation page created on

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