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The Kingdom of Eswatini

SKRUM – Summer News 2020

SKRUM, a sports charity in Eswatini that uses Rugby as a way of engaging with young people, supporting communities and helping to educate and prevent the spread of HIV, have released their Summer 2020 Newsletter.

Whilst the world is focussed on coronavirus, lockdown in Eswatini has cut off the connection SKRUM has with young people. To combat this, the SKRUM team have been looking at new ways to deliver their awareness and prevention programme. Working with head teachers, they have been painting the SKRUM logo ’Sipho’ onto school walls and distributing posters as highly visible reminders of their key messages.  In the coming weeks, SKRUM aim to run small group awareness sessions in school playgrounds, focussing on Umbhoco weNgabisa, their female empowerment programme, and incorporating aspects of coronavirus awareness and prevention into the HIV protection training.

What or Who is ‘Sipho’?

Sipho (pronounced See-Poh) is the SKRUM logo, developed from an image taken many years ago at a SKRUM coaching session, of a boy running with a rugby ball. The red ribbon, instantly recognisable as a symbol of HIV awareness around the world, fits perfectly to the shape of the ball. When the team paint Sipho on school walls, the image is created to the size of an average 14 year old boy, instantly drawing attention by its human scale. Sipho, meaning ‘gift’ in SiSwati and Zulu, represents the gift of knowledge and choice that they aim to provide through their awareness programme.

‘Return to Play’ Awareness for Coaches

As part of their commitment to keeping kids safe during sport, SKRUM coaches Emelda and Cheila completed World Rugby’s Covid-19 Return to Play Awareness Test.  They are now fully aware of what is required to safeguard themselves, pupils and teachers as soon as schools fully re-open and we are allowed to return to rugby coaching.

Support from Beyond Sport Foundation

In order to support organisations hit by Covid-19, the Beyond Sport Foundation joined together with Laureus Sport for Good, Comic Relief, Hong Kong Rugby Union Community Foundation and the LA84 Foundation to form the Sport for Good Response Fund. The Fund unites the support of a diverse range of partners to aid organisations and young people as part of sport’s role in ending violence, discrimination and disadvantage around the world. SKRUM is receiving invaluable strategic support to help them navigate through the current crisis with expert advice and tools for monitoring and evaluation, fundraising and adapting their programmes to the new normal.

To learn more about the excellent work that SKRUM, head over to their dedicated page here.

If you would like to support and donate to SKRUM, or sign up to their seasonal newsletter, visit their website here.