Katie Gannett

Profile

Katie recently graduated from Brown, where she double-concentrated in Development Studies and English and competed for 4 years on the women's soccer team.  During her sophomore year, she became introduced to the field of Sport for Development and Peace (SDP), which involves using sport to engage young populations vulnerable to such threats as HIV/AIDS, sexual abuse, and ethnic violence in educational and health programs, so that they might better respond to the daily challenges they face.  She spent the summer after her sophomore year working at a camp in Cyprus, studying the way in which sport was being employed to break down ethnic stereotypes of teenagers from the Greek- and Turkish-Cypriot communities. The following summer, she conducted her thesis research at the Football for Hope Festival in South Africa.  She is returning to South Africa for 12 months (Aug. 2011-Aug. 2012) to intern with Grassroot Soccer, a nonprofit organization at the forefront of efforts to fight HIV/AIDS using soccer.


Stories by this author

  • | September 10th, 2012
    I arrived back in the States at the end of July, having completed an incredible year as an intern in Soweto with Grassroot Soccer.  I absolutely loved the experience—the programs and coaches, energizers and snaps, beauty and vibrancy, friends...
  • | September 10th, 2012
    I wanted to share with you another story I wrote before completing my internship year in Soweto.  It was amazing getting the parental perspective! On a Friday afternoon at Shomang Primary, Nompumelelo Semelane proudly looked on as her daughter...
  • | June 26th, 2012
    Aside from scheduling difficulties, another challenge we have faced this term pertains to our HIV Counseling and Testing (HCT) events.  Usually, we host an HCT during our Skillz Street program, allowing the participating girls an opportunity to...
  • | June 20th, 2012
    This week, we are completing our Term 2 interventions.  We did our best to address the challenges related to interventions being pushed to after school hours (described in my last post).  We managed to deliver 29 Skillz 1.1 interventions...
  • | April 22nd, 2012
    Having finished running interventions during the first school term (Jan-March), our site is facing a new set of challenges for Term 2.  Our coaches typically implement our core curricula during school hours—usually during the Life Orientation...
  • | April 11th, 2012
    We were recently asked by our headquarters in Cape Town to gather stories about youth that have graduated from one of Grassroot Soccer's curricula at least a year ago.  These stories will be compiled from all sites and distributed to funders in...
  • | April 2nd, 2012
    On March 21st, Human Rights Day, GRS Soweto hosted an HCT (HIV Counseling and Testing) tournament at the Nike Center. An HCT tournament (one of GRS’ five types of interventions) is a soccer tournament during which participants also have an...
  • | February 18th, 2012
    Our interventions are off and running—though after a somewhat rough start.  During the first school term (Jan through end of March), we are implementing two of our programs: Skillz 1.1 and Skillz Street.  We paired our 24 new coaches with...
  • | February 8th, 2012
    The coach recruitment process is complete!  We now have 24 new Skillz 1.1 coaches—an incredibly energetic, passionate group (see above).  I’m so excited to get to know them better and watch them in action in the classroom!  The group...
  • | January 25th, 2012
    The main focus of the last few weeks has been on coach recruitment.  We are looking to recruit 20 more coaches to help us with delivering our core Skillz 1.1 curriculum in primary schools, as our current 27 coaches will be focusing on...
  • | January 13th, 2012
    We’re off and running again!  2012 is sure to bring lots of excitement and plenty of new challenges.  Before going much further, there are two main developments to mention.  First, a new site coordinator will be joining us next week....
  • | January 3rd, 2012
      Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I just returned home from an incredible two-week holiday adventure in Botswana and Namibia with 3 amazing GRS interns—Lauren and Trevor based in Kimberly andAudrey A.K.A "Podge" based in Cape Town. We made...
  • | November 27th, 2011
    Despite being based halfway around the world, we haven’t forgotten about some of our favorite American holidays: Halloween and Thanksgiving.  For Halloween, Bengy and I decided to fly to Cape Town to surprise the 7 interns—in costume.  We...
  • | November 27th, 2011
    Grassroot Soccer is gearing up to launch an exciting research initiative—a randomized controlled trial (RTC).  For the study, we will compare schools that receive our GRS Generation Skillz curriculum (“intervention” schools) with those that do...
  • | November 6th, 2011
    Since the holiday camps, we’ve gotten back to running our Skillz 1.1 interventions in schools.  For this intervention cycle, we’re focusing on schools in a community called Deipkloof.  Our site tends to have more trouble running our...
  • | October 24th, 2011
    During the first week of October, students in Soweto had a week off from school, so we ran Skillz Holiday Camps at two schools (Isu'lihle Primary and Luyolo Primary) in a Sowetan community called Zola.  Holiday camps take place over the course...
  • | October 11th, 2011
    Outside of work, Benjy and I having an awesome time exploring the area and meeting new people.  Just after arriving in August, we went to two different “braais” (barbecues) on the same day—one with mostly South Africans and the other with...
  • | October 4th, 2011
    The Skillz Street curriculum integrates several unique elements.  One session is devoted to bringing the female participants to a local community organization.  We took our participants to one of two: Sizanani and the Clinic. ...
  • | September 25th, 2011
    This month, we have been busy running Skillz Street, a girls-targeted intervention. The program combines Fair Play soccer with activities designed to teach about HIV and encourage assertiveness, efficacy, and relationship-building.  Whereas we...
  • | September 10th, 2011
    Coach Guru: A Role Model for Quitting Drugs  I may have lost some readers after that last blog post, even though I know that all of you are just as fascinated by monitoring and evaluation as I am…To make the whole idea a little more real, I...
  • | September 6th, 2011
    Of those organizations using sport to address social issues, Grassroot Soccer arguably uses the most advanced means of monitoring and evaluating its programs, essential for informing the work of GRS and reporting to funders.  As a Monitoring...
  • | August 27th, 2011
    Ben and I arrived at a busy time for GRS Soweto—for all GRS sites in South Africa.  For the last three years, GRS South Africa has been operating primarily through a large grant provided by USAID, which will be ending in December 2011....
  • | August 21st, 2011
    Before going much further, I wanted to give everyone a better sense of Grassroot Soccer (GRS).  The video above was filmed at the GRS site in Lusaka, Zambia.  History: The impetus to create the organization came from Tommy Clark, M...
  • | August 16th, 2011
    We’ve enjoyed getting situated the last few days, becoming more familiar with the Soweto site and the day-to-day operations.  There are currently 25 “coaches,” local men and women between the ages of about 18 and 25 that deliver the HIV...
  • | August 11th, 2011
    We have arrived in South Africa!  Ben and I flew in on Monday night and were picked up at the airport by Greg, the site coordinator of GRS in Soweto.  Greg brought us to our new apartment, located in Mondeor (part of Johannesburg South...
  • | July 19th, 2011
    By Grassroot Soccer Web on June 24, 2011 June 23, Cape Town, South Africa - Grassroot Soccer staff, coaches, and participants had the honor of meeting First Lady Michelle Obama along with Archbishop Desmond Tutu during her visit to South...
  • | July 8th, 2011
    Hello everyone! With my graduation from Brown only weeks behind me, I am thrilled to be heading off in early August to South Africa, where I will be interning with Grassroot Soccer for 12 months.  Grassroot Soccer (GRS) uses soccer to deliver...
  • | August 5th, 2010
    Juggling at the Whizzkids United tournament in Edendale I’ve arrived back in the US and it’s good to be home but I definitely miss South Africa! I love thinking back to all of the different aspects of my trip, and I’m so happy that I’ll have the...
  • | August 1st, 2010
    Wow, the last 2 weeks have been a whirlwind and it’s hard for me to believe all of the things that Ruvani and I did! We started by meeting up in the Southern Drakkensburg. The Drakkensburg is a mountain range that stretches largely between Durban...
  • | July 14th, 2010
    I can’t believe that the World Cup is over…I’ve gotten so used to watching the games all the time and listening to Shakira’s “Waka Waka” and K’naan’s “Wave Your Flag” every minute. It was quite a finish to the tournament, and I was very excited to...
  • | July 10th, 2010
    Opening Ceremony, Sepp Blatter and President Zuma This week, the festival’s tournament games have taken place in Alexandra, a township of Johannesburg. Two turf fields were built for the festival, with one being surrounded by stands and...
  • | July 3rd, 2010
    This week has been full of a variety of wonderful cultural activities set up for participants and delegation leaders. On Tuesday morning, the participants were divided into mixed-delegation teams for some “integration” exercises. Different...
  • | June 30th, 2010
    I ended up having a great visit with Altus Sport and had a chance to observe several of their different activities, though my visit was brief. On Tuesday, I went with Steffi and Ulf, two German Altus Sport volunteers, to an area of Pretoria to...
  • | June 22nd, 2010
    While working with GRS in Soweto, I lived about forty minutes away in Melville, a neighborhood of Johannesburg. Karti was able to reserve a room right next to his for Lauren and me to rent. Lauren is a short-term intern from Virginia working on...
  • | June 21st, 2010
    It has been a very exciting and hectic couple of weeks with Grassroot Soccer. Last week, GRS began hosting its holiday programs. I co-directed one of the camps at Leresche grammar school with Karti, a year-long Grassroot Soccer intern who works...
  • | June 8th, 2010
    It’s hard for me to believe, but my two weeks with Whizzkids United have already finished! I had an incredible time and feel that I learned so much from my visit. I’d like to thank Marcus (Whizzkids CEO) and all of the Whizzkids staff, volunteers...
  • | June 6th, 2010
    Earlier this week, we all traveled to Edendale for the grand opening of the Whizzkids United Health Academy, the culmination of years of work and planning. As I mentioned, the Health Academy represents the fourth component of the Whizzkids United...
  • | June 1st, 2010
    It has been so much fun getting to know the other workers and volunteers of Africaid’s Whizzkids United program. They come from a variety of countries including South Africa, Germany, England, and Canada. Every night, we have dinner at the...
  • | May 30th, 2010
    Earlier this week, I had a chance to visit the players who will be representing Whizzkids United at the Football for Hope Festival. The four Whizzkids United players will combine with four players from another South African program called Altus...
  • | May 26th, 2010
    For my first two weeks, I am spending time in Durban with Africaid’s Whizzkids United, an organization using soccer as a means of delivering HIV prevention, care, treatment, and support to youth. Founded in 2003, Africaid works in three provinces...
  • | May 24th, 2010
    2010 FIFA World Cup Countdown: 19 days, 18 hours, 45 minutes, and 3 seconds A sign displaying this countdown clock greeted me as I walked into the airport in Johannesburg, South Africa. Flags from around the world were hanging in the hallways, and...