Global Initiatives: In Africa


Partly funded by Charlize Theron's Africa Outreach Project (CTAOP), Mpilonhle is dedicated to improving health and social development in the Umkhanyakude District, one of South Africa's poorest communities.

  • Issues
    • Rural areas in South Africa face a litany of health and education problems. Consider the Umkhanyakude District, one of South Africa's poorest communities. Located in northern Kwa-Zulu Natal, Umkhanyakude has one of the world's highest HIV infections rates. Approximately one in two adolescents in Umkhanyakude will develop the HIV virus in their lifetime. Roughly one in 10 high school girls will contract HIV before they graduate and many more will develop other sexually transmitted infections. About one in four girls will become pregnant before graduating.
  • The Solution
    • Mpilonhle is a South African, non-governmental organization dedicated to improving the health and social development of youth in the Umkhanyakude District. Mpilonhle sponsors mobile health units that visit rural schools, providing health education and HIV prevention resources, HIV testing, curative services and computer training. Each mobile unit visits four schools each month, spending one week at each school.
  • LAFC Foundation Partnership
    • In support of Mpilonhle, the LAFC Foundation has made a three-year commitment to help create a community-wide soccer program for Umkhanyakude schools. LAFC will build soccer fields, provide uniforms, cleats, balls and other equipment, along with professional training for local coaches, referees and administrators. The soccer league training will include health education provided through the mobile health units.
    • "LAFC helps bring hope to some of the most disadvantaged youth in Africa. Their commitment to using football to help those most in need gain skills and self-respect, and lead a healthier and more productive life, as a model of how sports can be used to break down national and social barriers. Bringing top quality coaching and training to rural youth who love football, but lack the opportunity to play competitively, is a unique initiative."
    • Michael Bennish, MD
      Executive Director, Mpilonhle