Eswatini, formerly known as Swaziland, has the highest rate of HIV/AIDS in the world, exacerbated by a strong patriarchal culture that pushes girl’s and women’s rights to the margins. Working with our partners, SKRUM, we are on a mission to change that. 

Using rugby to engage children, SKRUM creates a safe, fun environment for them explore issues such as HIV/AIDS, gender violence and female health and hygiene, as well as encouraging them to continue in education. By harnessing rugby’s core values of respect, discipline, passion and solidarity, SKRUM inspires confidence and leadership amongst the children and their communities – recent figures of HIV/AIDS have started to fall and SKRUM, with the support of Atlas, is committed to its mission of seeing this continue and provide meaningful impact to the children’s lives. 


Since 2008, SKRUM has visited over 650 of the 817 schools in Eswatini and reached over 12,000 young people through school and community coaching sessions each year. SKRUM engages with the children through classroom and outdoor sessions, teaching them the social and practical skills necessary for healthy and responsible living. The Atlas Foundation has been able to fund a local coach-mentor each year with each coach capable of reaching over 4,000 children. For the first time since the HIV/AIDS pandemic took hold, infection rates in Eswatini are on the decline. 

A student that has benefitted from SKRUM's programme said: "After SKRUM talked to us I realised the importance of completing my education and giving myself a better chance in life.  They have made me realise that I can change my life"