The Protect the Goal High HIV Cluster Project is expected to be launched on high note on Saturday with a a thrilling Thyolo derby as the main activity of the day.
Sworn rivals Thyolo Eagles and Thyolo United will face each other in the opening round of the 2016 Thyolo District Presidential Cup competition at the Thyolo Community Centre ground.
Football Association of Malawi is using the Presidential Cup as the platform for the for the implementation of the NAC funded project.
Thyolo District Football Committee chairman Tchavi Mbewe said the derby fixture which was drawn randomly will provide the best set for launching such a project.
“These are the two teams that normally meet in final matches of competitions in Thyolo but here they are in the first round. This will be like a final on the launch date. Eagles have just won the Thyolo Districts League while United will be looking to prove a point in the presidential. But over and above we are ready to facilitate the implementation of the PTG project in Thyolo using the Presidential Cup,” said Mbewe.
The project is using competitive football matches to send HIV prevention messages and will involve Presidential Cup competitions in seven other districts in the Southern Region namely Blantyre, Chiradzulu, Mangochi, Mulanje, Nsanje, Mwanza and Zomba.
Apart from football matches different players in HIV and AIDS intervention will be providing services to fans and players at all matches in the eight districts.
FAM General Secretary Suzgo Nyirenda believes football has a big role to play in the fight against the pandemic.
“FAM is committed in fighting the HIV and AIDS pandemic using all football platforms that we have. The Protect the Goal High HIV Cluster is aimed at rural football masses.
“So we are killing two birds with one stone, developing top coaches and players and fighting the pandemic in the rural areas. We thank NAC, government, the United Nations and all other stakeholders who will make the project successful,” said Nyirenda.
The Project funded by NAC to the tune K19 Million.