Swaziland has the highest rate of HIV/AIDS in the world, with 28% of the population infected. SKRUM’s mission is to reduce these figures and offer hope to the youth of Swaziland. We use the game of rugby to engage children and, at the same time, educate them about HIV/AIDS, inspire better leadership in communities, raise awareness of gender violence, and promote the benefits of school and education.

Since 2008, SKRUM has visited over 650 of the 817 schools in Swaziland, reaching around 12,000 young Swazis through school and community coaching sessions each year. SKRUM introduces them to rugby and takes the opportunity to educate them in HIV/AIDS, gender violence, and the social skills necessary for healthy and responsible living, using the slogan Pass The Ball, Not The Virus. SKRUM also provides dedicated classroom sessions, explicitly reinforcing the crucial HIV/AIDS message. During weekends and school holidays, SKRUM runs rugby sessions and tournaments in local communities, reaching out to adults as well as children.

Rugby is one of the fastest growing sports in Swaziland, and figures for HIV/AIDS infection have recently started to fall. We believe our coaching is working, and it is vital that we return to the visited schools on a regular basis to reinforce the message.

SKRUM employs a number of dedicated and committed local Swazi coaches who are visiting schools and communities every day. The Atlas Foundation has been able to fully fund a local coach each year. Our coaches can each reach over 4,000 children per year, with both classroom presentations and rugby coaching sessions.

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