In 2012, Shooting Touch put down program roots in Rwanda and is now serving over 1000 youth in eight rural communities struggling to rebuild after the 1994 genocide. 67% of Rwandans are under the age of 25. This population represents a youth bulge that is hungry for knowledge and success but is being starved of the access and opportunities integral to their personal and professional development. In order to reverse the cycles of poverty, disease and violence, the Basketball Health Corps is transforming our courts into classrooms where youth and their communities can learn, develop, and play together.
The primary goal of the Basketball Health Corps is to put youth on a fast track to a brighter future by marrying the values and skills learned on the court with lessons and experiences that target improved health, citizenry, and employability.
The BHC fulfills the mission of Shooting Touch to use basketball to educate and empower at-risk youth and the communities in which they live in three steps:
Each year the BHC is facilitated by a group of two Basketball Health Corps Fellows who are recently graduated scholar-athletes that desire to give back using the game they love. Fellows live and serve in Shooting Touch communities for 11 months where they construct courts, build teams and train coaches to run Rwanda’s first and only free youth league for girls and boys. Alongside their team of local coaches, BHC fellows deliver Shooting Touch’s custom designed on/off-court health-education curriculum, Turi Kumwe.
Turi Kumwe - We Are Together Curriculum
Turi Kumwe signifies the bond and mutual responsibility players have with their teammates and coaches. The underlying premise behind the Turi Kumwe curriculum is that individuals, households, and communities have a tremendous incentive to improve their health. However, they often lack the information to protect themselves and capacities to access and demand adequate care. By mobilizing youth through sport and building a sense of trust, this cognitive behavioral change curriculum delivers a foundation of vital health knowledge, a set of vital personal and social skills, and a trajectory towards entrepreneurship and employability.
Turi Kumwe Results:
In the last 6 months participants saw an average increase of 25% in Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene knowledge and behaviors and increased HIV/AIDS prevention knowledge and behaviors by 36%.
Mutuelle de Sante Health Care Sponsorships
By partnering with district governments and local health care providers BHC was able to sponsor 722 individuals with a year of health care, kick starting their ability to stay healthy, stay in school, and transform the lessons they learn on the court into lifesaving decisions and actions.
Sparking change from within the community, Shooting Touch staff and BHC fellows train local youth to deliver our programming through clinics and workshops that not only certify them as basketball coaches but also transform them into youth development practitioners. In 2015-2016 Shooting Touch trained 24 individuals in coaching, refereeing, curriculum implementation, and pre- and post-testing.
Research and Development
BHC staff also trained a mobile research team of 12 out-of-school youth to implement BHC’s monitoring and evaluation strategy in order to capture our on and off court impacts and arm us with data for informed decision making.
Lisanne and Fellows, Chloe and Jake hosted a Gender Based Violence awareness tournament. During this event UGB and national team coaches gave a heartwarming speech about the importance of basketball and education. Over 300 GBV awareness pamphlets were distributed to 100 participants and 300 spectators. Of our participants 4 (2 boys and 2 girls) were chosen for the U16 national team and 2 were sponsored for school!
Founder and Executive Director, Lindsey Kittredge, heads to Rwanda to visit our Basketball Health Corps program in Rwanda. Board members, Jackie MacMullan, Amy Latimer, Chiney Oqwumike Alex Gallagher, along with student-athletes from the Noble and Greenough School will be joining her for the incredible journey across the sea! If you have equipment, shoes or clothing in good condition that you would like to send over please contact Lindsey Kittredge email@example.com.
Nyamirama, Kayonza (Nyamirama Health Center)