DREAM is proud to have Deportes para la Vida (DPV) as a core part of our Youth Leadership Programs. DPV, which focuses on HIV/ AIDS prevention education, was first developed in 2005 as a pilot project between Grassroot Soccer, the University of Vermont, and the community of Batey Libertad, Dominican Republic. As a member of the international “Grassroot Soccer” network, DPV uses soccer, games, and peer mentoring to engage youth in the creation and practice of healthy life choices. Deportes para la Vida has been an integral part of the Guzmán Ariza Summer Camp since 2006 and is now the core of the social-emotional development of our Young Stars students. Topics of sexual awareness, knowledge of sexually transmitted diseases, and good decision-making are on-going issues with which youth need long-term support. DREAM runs programs for youth in our Cabarete, Caraballo and Abreu sites. Youth leaders are trained as facilitators to replicate this program in new communities.
Now with support from Peace Corps and funding from their PEPFAR program (the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief), two facilitator trainings and one National Conference are held yearly for youth leaders and Peace Corps volunteers from across the Dominican Republic. DREAM co-sponsors two additional reinforcement events for active trainers per year. Over 200 facilitators have been trained since 2010, and over 1,400 students yearly receive this powerful course. This nation-wide network of facilitators enables the program to grow into many areas, where health and life decision-making education is much needed. Currently a Grassroot Soccer intern is working with DREAM.
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