Islamic Republic of Iran


Street Children Football Tournament: commemorating the World AIDS Day 2015

The World AIDS Day was first conceived in August 1987 by the Global Programme on AIDS at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland.  The idea was to dedicate a day of raising awareness on AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection, and mourning those who have died of the disease.
The World AIDS Day is an opportunity for the people involved in the field of HIV/AIDS to sensitize the public and raise awareness in the community. It is also an opportunity for the governments and non-government organizations around the world to educate all walks of life on HIV prevention and control.

The HIV infection affects all sectors of a society, among which are street children who are among the most vulnerable groups exposed to HIV/AIDS.  It is estimated that around 150 million children worldwide live on the streets of the urban areas.  Preliminary studies indicate that the prevalence of HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among these children greatly exceed that of general children's population.  Street children, who make the street their home and a source of livelihood, are inadequately protected or supervised by a responsible adult. The majority of the street children are living in conditions of severe deprivation, which place them at all kinds of health risks. Among the most serious threats to health of the street children is the high degree of exposure to sexual abuse.


On 8 December 2015, the Iranian Life Quality Improvement Association (ILIA), an Iranian based NGO, took a rather interesting step in commemorating the World AIDS day through holding of a friendly football match for the vulnerable Iranian and Afghan street children in a gymnasium in Tehran.  A number of professional football players took the responsibility of coaching the young football players while the ILIA NGO provided the players with jersey and other necessary football items.

The tournament turned to be joyful experience participated by different groups and institutions including NGOs, football players, media and press, interested football lovers, and the UNODC. 
The competition was overshadowed by showing warm friendship among team members.  The players and the audience joined together in applauding the organizers when the campaign motto ''Ending AIDS epidemic by 2030'' was introduced by the organizers at the end of the event with the goal of ending the AIDS epidemic, prevention and the rights of all to be educated.