Most of the young people SCORE works with live in difficult situations. They come from broken homes in communities that suffer from poverty and social problems, which negatively impact their health, safety, well-being, and sense of selves and often limit their ability to see a brighter future or their ability to achieve that future.
SCORE offers training and opportunities to young people so they improve their awareness and knowledge and gain the skills and self-confidence to deal with the issues they are confronted with as they grow up.
Life skills training within SCORE is done as part of everyday training, coaching and mentoring, but is primarily delivered through training workshops and facilitated discussion sessions. Manuals and curricula provide the training framework, but questions, debate and open discussions are where most of the learning takes place. Partner organisations with specific areas of expertise and speakers with experience in relevant issues provide additional information.
Throughout the training process, young people are encouraged to make their own positive decisions, while the supportive environment of the team develops the trust that is needed to explore issues. The support of the team cannot be underestimated – peer pressure is an extremely powerful force that is hard to stand up against if you’re a young person and disagree with what you’re being pressured into doing; the team provides support, safety, and a group of like-minded young people you would rather belong to and know will be there for you.
Generic life skills training begins with young people reflecting about themselves – who am I? Do I have a plan for myself? How does my community impact me? How can I have an impact on my community? The aim is to help young people gain an understanding that they have agency and explore the skills they have and need for them to transform their own lives and the lives of others.
Read Cwenga’s story and learn about how her life turned around when she started believing in herself. Now for her, nothing is impossible.
SCORE trainers help young people to increase their understanding of health issues they face in their communities. This ranges from training focused on lifestyle choices around alcohol, drugs and sexual health/activity, to fitness and healthy eating, to diseases like TB, HIV and AIDS. Training focuses on increasing knowledge and awareness, but also on discussing the personal and social consequences of certain behaviours and choices.
As a founding member of the international Kicking AIDS Out Network, SCORE implements Kicking AIDS Out training specifically focused on sexual health and HIV/AIDS, providing knowledge and skills for young people to make informed and positive choices and become peer leaders amongst their friends, at school, and in the community, so their knowledge spreads.
Kicking AIDS Out Training Survey Results:
63% females: “my own sexual behaviour and choices have been influenced by the training”
71% males: “the training influenced my sexual behaviour & decision-making in terms of condom use for family planning and protection against HIV/AIDS”
See more here: www.kickingaidsout.net
SCORE encourages inclusivity. Diversity is one of our values. However, being inclusive and managing diversity can be challenging for young people in environments where stereotypes, tradition and inequality are often the norm and exposure to difference is limited.
SCORE has developed a training program focused on understanding cultural roles and stereotypes and managing cultural diversity, but a major focus is in the area of gender. SCORE very deliberately uses sport to address gender inequality, both on and off the sports field. Simple examples include requiring mixed gender sports teams at some competitions, exposing women to historically male dominated sports and vice versa, requiring gender balance in the leadership structures of clubs and teams participating in competitions, and addressing gender issues head on in life skills discussion forums.
SCORE offers two programs that give young people of both genders the opportunity to meet in safe spaces and discuss the serious challenges they face as they grow up in poor communities.
WGILS (Women and Girls In Leadership through Sport) is SCORE’s program focusing on girls and young women that is aimed at empowering them, giving them the awareness, knowledge, skills and (most critically) support to address their challenges.
BIA (Brothers in Action) is the equivalent program that brings boys and young men together to discuss the challenges they face in their communities, to support each other and receive the knowledge and skills to deal with potential obstacles.
Meet Songelwa, the founder of WGILS, and be inspired by this amazing young woman who is a program coordinator for SCORE at Mbekweni Community Sport Centre.
This is a new area of development in SCORE programming, as we raise awareness of community sports people about environmental issues and support them to take action related to such issues in their communities.
We have also piloted a project twinning food gardening with our sports programming, giving youth understanding of how to set up and manage a sustainable food garden. Training includes basic information on nutrition as well as basic understanding on the business aspect of running such a food garden and selling produce.
SCORE has also begun activities and training aimed at increasing the employability of young people involved in our programming and encouraging entrepreneurship.
Our programming begins with awareness of what study and career options exist beyond what many young people know of when growing up in poverty. SCORE brings leaders that have graduated high school and gone on to study in different fields back to communities to share their own journeys and advise their younger peers. SCORE also develops partnerships with companies and institutions that provide youngsters with study tours of their businesses. One such partnership resulted in SCORE Young Leaders being trained in hospitality with some leaders gaining employment afterward.
SCORE has also included entrepreneurship as a component in our Cup of Heroes program, where clubs are encouraged to establish small business ventures that can contribute to funding their club’s sports activities. At the competition, participating clubs actually sell what they have made or produced. This builds on financial literacy and basic financial administration, both of which are part of SCORE’s sports administration and club development training.
In a partnership with Hope Through Action and Val de Vie Estate, SCORE has provided young people emerging through its programs with an opportunity to receive practical hospitality training at Val de Vie. Twelve of these young people have subsequently found jobs in the local hospitality industry, some of them now being the only bread winners in their families.