Funded by the UK Premier League and run in partnership with Grassroot Soccer, Kaltcha Pioneers was WFC’s programme to disseminate HIV prevention messages to youth in the townships. Initially envisaged as a three-month project, Kaltcha Pioneers continually gathered momentum and ended up spanning eight months.
The initial stage saw WFC adapt Grassroot Soccer’s curriculum so that the HIV prevention messages, which were taught through playing football, could be transferred into student films. In partnership with Grassroot Soccer, WFC recruited twenty young people from Khayelitsha and together they produced a collection of films in styles ranging from news reports, talking heads, vox-pops, discussions and drama. The team also began using social media to gain a wider audience for their films.
As a result of this exposure, Cape Town community TV channel (CTV) asked for a series from Kaltcha Pioneers in the run-up to World AIDS Day. WFC was able to bring on Nokia as a sponsor and selected filmmakers from the original Kaltcha Pioneers team produced a slate of films broadcast during lead-in to World AIDS Day.
Off the back of that, Mxit - the mobile phone social network - offered WFC a video platform for the films. A campaign began in advance of Valentine’s Day, which called on young people to: LOVE YOUR PARTNER – KNOW YOUR STATUS. The Kaltcha Pioneers filmmakers had identified a really important barrier to preventing the spread of HIV, which was that many people are too scared to get tested so they didn’t know whether they have the virus or not.
The Valentine’s Day campaign on Mxit was a surprising success. Many people contacted the WFC team, thanking them for speaking about how HIV affects ordinary people’s lives and wanting to share their own stories. The Kaltcha Pioneers ran a really excellent social media campaign around this message, particularly on Facebook. People began using the comments section as a forum to discuss opinions on HIV, and to impart advice.
When the Valentine’s Day campaign ended, there was still momentum within the team. They wanted to set up a mobile cinema and testing centre and drive it around malls in the townships. Unfortunately, the team were unable to access the necessary funds and WFC HQ was overwhlemed at that time. This was a common problem with projects: a reliance on WFC HQ to raise funds because the application processes within the donor community are hard to access by the actual beneficiaries themselves.