Obama plays ball on issue of Aids

By Time of article published Jun 24, 2011

Share this article:

Regina Graham

US First Lady Michelle Obama showed her soccer moves to children at the Cape Town Stadium yesterday.

The First Lady’s focus on her trip to South Africa is on youth leadership, education, health and wellness.

Obama spent the day in Cape Town continuing her commitment to engaging young people, supporting educational opportunities and promoting youth mentoring.

In her last stop for the day she met organisations who use soccer as a means to educate South African children about HIV/Aids.

An estimated 70 children from the city were invited to participate from Grassroots Soccer, LoveLife Games, CTC Ten Foundation and Amandla Edufootball.

Obama told the children that the solution to the issue lay with them and that they could stop HIV/Aids with better information.

“You have to have the knowledge and the internal wisdom to make sure you are taking care of yourself and that you are making good choices so that you’re healthy and grow up strong,” Obama said.

The focus of the organisations represented yesterday is on combating HIV/Aids and they work specifically with children from the city and surrounding townships.

Obama told the children that these organisations were working hard to make sure that they were healthy, vibrant and prepared to be the leaders that she knew they could be.

Obama also met Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu. She thanked him for the work that he has done in South Africa.

“Archbishop Tutu has been playing such a significant role with the work that he has done through his foundation, around HIV/Aids education, raising awareness, bringing the world’s attention to how important it is to work on this issue in this country,” Obama said.

Tutu spoke briefly and encouraged the children by telling them that they could be anything they wanted to be and that they could reach for the stars.

“I hope that all of you will know that you are the best thing that God ever created,” Tutu said.

The First Lady joined the children in doing soccer drills.

Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille stopped by Obama’s event to show her support and welcome her to the city.

“We are extremely proud to have the First Lady of America here and to acknowledge all of the good work that they are doing in South Africa especially among young people,” De Lille said.

Obama will spend the weekend in Botswana where she will meet President Ian Khama and visit a children’s clinic.

[email protected]

Share this article: