Zimbabwean’s Methembe Ndlovu Unites David Beckham, Alex Ferguson And Others To Fight HIV/AIDS…

On 1 December every year, the world commemorates World Aids Day, a day people unite and show their support in the fight against HIV and AIDS as well as to remember those who have died of the deadly disease. This year was no exception, as on 1 December 2015 governments around the globe took note of efforts being made to eradicate HIV and AIDS, but also acknowledging that a lot still needs to be done.

In London, former Zimbabwe and Highlanders Football Club player and captain Methembe Ndlovu‘s non-profit organisation Grassroot Soccer (GRS) hosted a fundraising gala to raise funds and brought in some high profile former and present football greats.

The Hosts

Grassroot Soccer founders Image Credit: GrassrootSoccer.org

Grassroot Soccer, Inc is a non-profit organisation that was formed in 2002 by four former professional football players, Ndlovu being one of them, to reach out to young African children on the realities of HIV and AIDS through the means of football.

The Gala

London choir, Grassroot Soccer gala London 2015 Image Credit: GrassrootSoccer.org

On 1 December, a number of football stars attended the Grassroot Soccer fundraising gala, along with leaders in business and media. Among the guests were the likes of David Beckham, England International Kieran Gibbs, and Rio Ferdinand, GRS Pro Ambassadors Freddie Ljungberg and Robert Pirès, alongside other well-known public figures, such as Sir Alex Ferguson and USA International Oguchi Ongyewu.

The Initiative

Grassroots Soccer instructors at work, teaching female childrenImage Credit: Grassroot Soccer Zimbabwe Facebook Page

The night’s aim was to raise funds that will be used on a range of unique football-based health education programmes in southern Africa. Essentially to reach out to children through soccer, on health care issues that centre around HIV and AIDS.

The Outcome

Grassroot soccer London gala, World AIDS day 2015Image Credit: Zimbabwe Soccer Facebook Page

A live auction was conducted on the evening with prizes including a 1-2-1 tennis lesson with two-time Wimbledon champion, Boris Becker; lunch with Arsenal CEO Ivan Gazidis; and an opportunity to play a 8-a-side game with Arsenal club legends, Robert Pirès and Freddie Ljungberg. Overall the event raised £700,000 (approx. over US$1,045,000.00) for Grassroot Soccer.

Main Image Credit: GrassrootSoccer.org

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