UNAIDS International Goodwill Ambassador and football star, Michael Ballack witnessed how football is transforming lives in South Africa. On 19 January, he visited the Grassroot Soccer programme in Soweto, South Africa and watched a Skillz Street practice session involving about 50 boys and girls. Grassroot Soccer uses soccer to educate, inspire and mobilize communities to stop the spread of HIV.
Mr Ballack was joined by UNAIDS Executive Director, Michel Sidibé on his tour of the programme. Mr Ballack is on a 3-day fact-finding mission in South Africa, where he is learning about how HIV impacts lives.
As a football player, I know the power of football to educate. As a father, I know the incredible energy and dynamism of youth. Today, I saw how when football and young people join hands, they make a winning team against HIV
Michael Ballack, UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador
I am so thrilled that Michael is taking the time to come to the heart of the AIDS epidemic and learn first-hand about the courage and commitment of people working to stop the spread of HIV. With his super star football status he is a compelling advocate for HIV prevention. He is helping to transform young people into agents of change.
Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS Executive Director