Health is one of the 6 Social Focus Areas that Laureus Sport for Good provides funding and support to enable programmes to tackle, aligned to the United Nations Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs).
Laureus’ objective in this area is to encourage healthy behaviour change in young people and children and enhance mental wellbeing. From a health perspective, sport is unique in its ability to tackle issues for both the body and the mind. Young people need to be supported in understanding and dealing with health issues as well as being encouraged to lead healthier lifestyles, especially those in disadvantaged communities where the risks are greater.
Case Study - Puky Ramokoatsi – Kick4Life (Africa)
“I always think that if it wasn’t for Kick4Life, I could be dead," says Puky Ramokoatsi, 30, from Lesotho who has endured and overcome terrible hardship. When only 16, she was raped and left for dead. The assailant – her father’s friend – shot her in the back before fleeing the scene.
Puky spent five days in a coma and when she awoke, she was too afraid to report the sexual assault. Whilst living through her own ordeal, she was also coping with her aunt’s HIV diagnosis. Puky only knew of the stigma and discrimination surrounding HIV at that time and regretfully turned her back on her aunt, who sadly passed away soon after.
Puky would soon learn she herself had been living with the same virus since the age of 16.
Thanks to Laureus-supported programme Kick4Life, Puky was encouraged to get tested and supported throughout her medical appointments. She recalls how the programme “came to her rescue”. This life-altering moment brought back painful memories of the lack of support given to her aunt during her time in need. Puky was determined to give back to the community and help other children and young people.
Puky now runs Kick4Life’s Girls United programme, which provides support and education to vulnerable girls and women who have suffered gender-based violence. Through this vital work, she is able to help empower other young women to stay safe and pursue happy, healthy and prosperous futures. She is also the Kick4Life women’s team coach and manager, a role particularly close to her heart, as she is able to visit local communities and teach local youth about HIV, removing the stigma associated with it.
Annual Review 2019 – Health Headline Facts
In 2019 alone, as a direct result of Laureus Sport for Good funding and support:
63,382 young people were enabled to participate in Health and Wellbeing programmes
54,432 children and young people had increased knowledge about their bodies and sexual and reproductive health rights