Nakulabye, near Kampala, is the home of the Community Based AIDS Programme (COBAP) which provides healthcare, rehabilitation and shelter for people who have been affected by HIV/AIDS. Some years ago COBAP realised that sport could be an effective way to communicate with the population about the dangers of the disease and created the Nakulabye Youth Intervention Programme. Football and netball sessions were set up and by introducing healthcare workshops into half-time, the project workers found that they had a captive audience to whom they could communicate their life-saving message.
At first all the project could do was to tend for the seriously ill, but now there is a determined attempt being made to do more to try to stop the scourge of HIV/AIDS even before it gets started.
In the early years, despite the many problems faced by the community, hospital workers found it difficult to get the slum inhabitants to attend healthcare training as a means of halting the spread of disease. COBAP realised that sport could be an effective way to communicate with the population and created the Nakulabye Youth Intervention Programme.
Laureus Sport for Good Foundation funding has rejuvenated the entire programme. A community formerly deprived of sporting opportunities is now offered athletics, boxing, table tennis, volleyball, bicycle racing and even indoor games like ludo through the COBAP Youth Intervention Programme. The results have been encouraging. The HIV infection rate is slowing and behavioural change has been observed among young people who were involved with substance abuse. In addition, sport has fostered team spirit and helped youngsters to work together for a common goal in the community.