After a much appreciated morning to sleep in past 5:30, the team planned a morning with our final beneficiary, Grassroot Soccer (GRS), at a soccer tournament. The group’s contribution to GRS was to host their first ever VCT (Voluntary HIV Counseling and Testing) tournament in Livingstone – a new region that they are in the process of expanding to.
While at the tournament, GRS staff brought us around to the different tents to explain how their program works. For most tournaments, teams have been through an intensive 5-week HIV education program, called Skillz, and the tournament serves as their graduation where they now make an educated choice about whether or not they would like to get tested and counseled. Testing and counseling, in additional to male circumcision, is set up and available at their tournaments. Since this particular event was their first in Livingstone, the youth present had not yet been in the program, but instead GRS was aiming at getting the word and name out to recruit for future programs. Riders had a great time watching the soccer games and playing activities with the children and community members that showed up for the event.
An exciting afternoon followed, with a surprise sunset cruise on the Zambezi organized for the group. This boat ride and a delicious celebratory dinner was a great time for the group to reflect about the ride and their experiences. It was unanimously agreed how lucky our team was to have such a cohesive and supportive group of riders and staff embarking on this journey together.
Tomorrow we head back home after an amazing Bike Zambia!