About us

About Us

Grassroot Soccer is changing the course of AIDS by using the power of soccer to increase HIV education, reduce stigma and empower young people to adopt healthy behaviours to prevent the spread of HIV in South Africa and across the world.


Through soccer-based activities and discussions, young people gain a comprehensive knowledge of HIV and AIDS and have the opportunity to practise the skills necessary for sustainable behaviour change.

Young people in South Africa are disproportionately affected by HIV, but they are also the greatest force for change. Grassroot Soccer’s programmes focus on building basic life skills that help youth adopt healthy behaviours and live risk-free.



In order to reach youth in a language that speaks to them, Grassroot Soccer delivers its programmes through soccer—an integral part of local cultures across the world. Influential role models train to be HIV educators and Caring Coaches in their communities, providing participants with a safe and fun environment in which to build and strengthen relationships, and for the youth to learn and take personal action in the fight against HIV.

Grassroot Soccer was founded in 2002 by former professional soccer players in Zimbabwe and has been headquartered in Cape Town since 2008. Today Grassroot Soccer works in four sites in South Africa and in 43 other countries across the world. By capitalising on the power of play and using the sport’s popularity to engage young people, Grassroot Soccer has reached over 630,000 youth worldwide to date, with 42,000 youth in South Africa in 2013.



Notes from the Pitch: Led by Those We Serve

We’re celebrating the 20th anniversary of Grassroot Soccer in 2022! Each month this year, we’ll look back on a key milestone in GRS history — and where we’ve gone from there.

read more
Notes from the Pitch: Coaching for Change

This month we’re sharing stories about the unique and vital role Grassroot Soccer (GRS) Coaches play as youth mentors, health educators, and changemakers in their communities.

read more
Grassroots Soccer - Growth, Inspiration, and Progress: 2019 in Review

Our soccer-based health education programs meet youth on the front lines as they confront and overcome their greatest health challenges, such as sexual and reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, malaria, and gender-based violence.

read more
Love the show? Want the shirt?

You’ve seen it on TV, you’ve seen it on our co-founder Ethan Zohn, and now you can get your own!

read more
Did you know that $3.50 can save a life?

The need for supporting adolescents has never been greater. In the midst of this pandemic, Grassroot Soccer is working with youth so they don’t get left out, left behind, or left isolated.

read more
If you can see it, you can be it.

It’s a simple idea that can change the world.

read more
Today is International Women’s Day!

March 8, is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.

read more
Can Coffee Change the World for Girls?

Grassroot Soccer is teaming up with Our Gorongosa to support programming for adolescent girls and young women in Mozambique and beyond!

read more
Answering the Call in Khayelitsha

A new outbound call center in Khayelitsha, South Africa, is helping adolescents in Grassroot Soccer (GRS) programming continue gaining the life-saving skills they need to live healthy lives.

read more
Seeing Stars, Changing Lives: A Very Special Invite!

Grassroot Soccer is excited to bring you our sixth annual World AIDS Day Gala. This virtual event will combine the best of our prior live events while opening up the experience to a global audience.

read more
Focusing on Adolescents This Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Awareness Month — a dedicated time to raise awareness, advocate for support systems, and help break the prevailing stigmas associated with mental health.

read more
GRS featured in recent UNICEF Sport for Development Study

Grassroot Soccer (GRS) was recently featured in important new research from UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti and the Barca Foundation.

read more


Since launching the programme in South Africa in 2006, GRS SA has trained more than 500 local Coaches, graduated more than 132,000 youth, and distributed HIV prevention education materials to millions of South Africans through schools and newspapers.  During the past eight years and with the support of a wide variety of donors, GRS has developed high quality, innovative HIV prevention programmes in South Africa that address gender, HIV prevention, and life skills in ways youth understand and can relate to.

You can make a donation to Grassroot Soccer online here:



You can also support Grassroot Soccer through soccer events!

Hosting a Grassroot Soccer Tournament is a lot of fun, a great learning and educational experience, and is a tremendous way to provide more youth in South Africa with critical HIV & AIDS prevention education.  Learn more about hosting a tournament and access the free 3v3 Tournament Guide here:

Goals for Grassroot Soccer is a fundraiser that you can do during your school’s soccer season. Get your teammates, coaches, friends and family to pledge funds to Grassroot Soccer for every goal, win and shutout by your team during the season.

You can access flyer templates and pledge forms here:

If you or your company would like to support Grassroot Soccer, please reach out to sacommunications@grassrootsoccer.org