Rumah Cemara Football Program - GRAND PRIZE GLOBAL WINNER!

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Rumah Cemara Football Program - GRAND PRIZE GLOBAL WINNER!

Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
$100,000 - $250,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Using football as a universal language, Rumah Cemara overcomes local stigma and discrimination towards people living with HIV/AIDS by hosting weekly football matches across West Java province that engage both HIV-positive and HIV-negative players.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Because of the high level of social stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS in Indonesia, it is very difficult for people living with HIV to open their status, and thus it is nearly impossible for people not yet infected to know what it is like to live with HIV, or to feel a social responsibility to respect those living with HIV. Thus, the fear that keeps people with HIV from opening their status is exacerbated. This Catch 22 must be broken, and HIV made a publicly discussable topic, or else the virus will continue to spread unchecked within Indonesia’s concentrated epidemics, and move undetected over into the general population.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Our idea is unique because it successfully engages everyday Indonesians, many who are at risk of contracting HIV or already living with HIV, in HIV prevention and anti-stigma efforts. Normally in Indonesia, such society-wide education efforts are curbed by a conservative religious majority, on moral grounds. Most people avoid the controversial topic of HIV/AIDS, and unlike many countries affected by HIV/AIDS, in Indonesia there are no HIV/AIDS curricula in schools, no billboards or public campaigns, and when information about HIV is available it is difficult to access. Sadly, people living with HIV are judged as unproductive and as having no use in or benefit to the society. Therefore, rather than approach the public with the controversial language of HIV/AIDS, we use a universal language that is accepted around the world. It is the language of football, through which we create a space for discussion. Our matches involve both players living with HIV/AIDS, whose confidence and health improve by playing regular matches, as well as players who initially feel unaffected by this issue, whose ability and willingness to prevent HIV transmission and stop HIV related stigma increases when we play together and form friendships.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Our impact on the community of people already living with HIV is significant. Over the past two years, 100 people living with HIV have played regularly on our Rumah Cemara team and on the five additional teams we have helped to form across West Java, including two teams based at provincial prisons. Interviews with players reveal that playing with Rumah Cemara has increased their confidence, motivation, and ability to live a healthy life with HIV. In every weekly match, we play against a team which is not from the HIV community, such as faculty teams of universities, private company teams, or professional teams from banks, retail stores and other industries. The reaction that we regularly get when we open our HIV status is one of surprise and amazement that people with HIV can play a full 90-minute match with endless energy. After forming a friendly relationship, players from outside the HIV community usually accept and help spread our messages: practice safe sex, never share needles, take an HIV test, and stop discriminating against people living with HIV. Further, by periodically playing against Professional Football Teams in the region and at national tournaments, we bring awareness of our program to even greater levels through the media, like our recent feature on Voice of America. (
About You
Rumah Cemara
Visit website
Section 1: About You
First Name


Last Name



Rumah Cemara


, JR

Section 2: About Your Organization
Organization Name

Rumah Cemara

Organization Phone


Organization Address

Jl. Gegerkalong Girang 52, Bandung 40154, West Java - Indonesia

Organization Country

, JR

Your idea
Country your work focuses on

, JR

Do you have a patent for this idea?


Rumah Cemara’s actions will develop and add more structure to our existing Football Program in order to solve the greater problem of stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS in Indonesia. We will continue our weekly practices and matches, but incorporate more players and publicize our work locally, nationally, and internationally. We will use our strong relationships with the hospitals and health centers of West Java to create a “referral system” for new HIV cases. Therefore, people who learn they are HIV positive will be referred not only to nutritional counselors and support groups, but also to the Rumah Cemara Football Program. Also, we are presently training a team of players selected to represent Indonesia in the Homeless World Cup, a tournament that will draw crucial government acknowledgment of our work that could lead to policy changes demanding efforts to counter stigma against people with HIV. As our number of participants increases and our reputation becomes better known, our football teams can transform into an organized, effective football league.


The results of our actions will increase participation in and recognition of our Football Program to make Indonesian society more comfortable with and capable of discussing HIV/AIDS and protecting against the spread of HIV/AIDS, while ensuring respect for the rights of people already living with HIV. We intend to increase the number of teams and number of weekly players, from both HIV positive and HIV negative communities, as well as from professional football teams. The more advocates we can ‘train’ to stand up for the rights of people living with HIV, the more comfortable people living with HIV will be to open their status, and vice versa. Also, pending our success in fundraising, will send “Team Indonesia” to the Homeless World Cup 2010, which could result in attracting a professional coach to our Program, the creation of a formal League out of our present set of teams, increased media coverage on our work at provincial, national and international levels, and greater cooperation on HIV/AIDS issues with the otherwise reluctant government.

What will it take for your project to be successful over the next three years? Please address each year separately, if possible.

By the year 2012, Rumah Cemara’s program of weekly football matches aims to become a formal, recognized Provincial Football League of people living with HIV, also serving as a forum for HIV/AIDS education. This League will specifically engage players and teams of people living with HIV, however continue the strategy of playing weekly scrimmage matches against teams from outside the HIV community, to be used as HIV education opportunities. In order to reach this success, we will need to see at least a steady 50% increase in HIV positive participants every year, from 100 in 2009, to 150 in 2010, to 225 in 2011, to 338 in 2012. We aim for a similar buildup of teams, from our six present teams in 2009, to eight in 2010, to 12 in 2011, to 16 in 2012. Currently, our players are all male, and we hope that over the next three years, we recruit enough women to form at least two to four women’s football teams. We also must secure enough funds to bring our teams to tournaments that will increase our program’s standing and reputation, including the Homeless World Cup, and also the National Narcotics Board (BNN) Football Tournament, which our team won in 2009 and intends to participate in and win again over the next three years. Lastly, throughout our program development over the next three years, we will need to consistently secure positive media coverage at local, national, and international levels.

What would prevent your project from being a success?

If people living with HIV remain hesitant to join our program or open their status, it will be difficult to have meaningful discussions about HIV/AIDS with all participants. Also, inability to secure funds to participate in the Homeless World Cup and BNN tournaments will prevent us from attaining the international recognition and support from Indonesian government that will motivate others to become involved in our program.

How many people will your project serve annually?


What is the average monthly household income in your target community, in US Dollars?

$50 - 100

Does your project seek to have an impact on public policy?


What stage is your project in?

Operating for 1‐5 years

In what country?

, JR

Is your initiative connected to an established organization?


If yes, provide organization name.

Rumah Cemara

How long has this organization been operating?

More than 5 years

Does your organization have a Board of Directors or an Advisory Board?


Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with NGOs?


Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with businesses?


Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with government?


Please tell us more about how these partnerships are critical to the success of your innovation.

Each of our Advisory and non-monetary partnerships play a crucial role in the success of our innovation. Our Board of Directors helps us to write and refine programmatic strategies, including for our Football Program. They also help connect us to new partners and potential supporters. We have dozens of NGO relationships across Indonesia, primarily with HIV/AIDS and drug rehabilitation focused NGOs, through whom we can recruit new players and advertize about our developing league. Lastly, our government relationships are perhaps the most crucial, as the Ministry of Health can help us by systematically referring HIV positive patients to our Football Program, and include this specific opportunity in their counseling discussions about maintaining good physical and mental health. Further, if we can truly develop enough public support for this issue, we could finally persuade the government to start creating HIV education programs in schools and in media campaigns that they currently do not have enough public demand to create or support.

What are the three most important actions needed to grow your initiative or organization?

1.Voluntary and enthusiastic involvement of men and women living with HIV/AIDS as football players.
2.Successful procurement of funds for travel, to both attend tournaments and to start new teams across West Java.
3.Willingness of footballers not living with HIV to participate in our program and become advocates in fighting the stigma towards people living with HIV/AIDS.

The Story
What was the defining moment that led you to this innovation?

Ginan Koesmayadi, the social innovator behind the RC Football Program, began playing regularly on a semi-professional football team in Bandung in the same year he founded Rumah Cemara (2003). Ginan had known his HIV positive status for three years, and voluntarily appeared often on TV and radio programs discussing HIV/AIDS in Indonesia, therefore he had effectively opened his status to his teammates. As his football practices paralleled his organization’s growth, Ginan realized that the football pitch was perhaps the only place where he could truly escape the persistent social stigma around HIV/AIDS in Indonesian society.
Ginan felt that his fellow players accepted him as a person living with HIV as equally as they accepted him as a semi-pro player. Football, he realized, was not only about exercise, but how players interact with each other, how each plays their own role while respecting the others' roles, and how players cooperate with each other. HIV/AIDS illustrated the importance of transferring this “role theory” into real life – that HIV positive or not, every person deserves respect, and if we fail to cooperate, both teams end up losing.
Additionally, Ginan felt comfortable spreading information at practices about HIV, and gave fellow players a first-hand experience in having a friend with HIV, inadvertently transforming them into supporters of his organization and AIDS advocacy. He believed this happened because dedicated footballers did not care what conditions other players had, as long as they could play their role on the field and play it well. After enduring years of stigma from his community and family alike, patience growing thin, Ginan finally realized the game he loved all his life could be the key to empowering people living with HIV, and simultaneously fighting stigma.

Tell us about the social innovator behind this idea.

Ginan is an inspirational leader within the HIV/AIDS community, particularly to his peers living with HIV, yet also to government officers, donors, and others who have come to support Rumah Cemara through his influence. Ginan co-founded Rumah Cemara in 2003, as a drug rehabilitation center that has now transformed into the largest network of people living with HIV in West Java. Ginan has used his own challenging life experience – as a former drug user and prisoner who became infected with HIV - to serve as an example to his peers, and to serve his peers. In 2002, he was one of the first Indonesians to publicly open his HIV status on television, and is a frequent media commentator about HIV/AIDS. Medical researchers and policymakers alike consult him as a known representative of the HIV/AIDS community, and respect his opinions and advice in their work. By opening his status, he has created safe space for other people living with HIV to do the same, especially in innovative arenas like on the football field. His leadership aims to create more leaders, evidenced by the now 61 satellite HIV/AIDS support groups that would never have started without his perseverance. Thanks to his persistent advocacy promoting NGO-Government partnerships, his peers in Indonesia now have free access to lifesaving anti-retroviral therapy.
When Ginan sees an obstacle, he thinks of realistic, creative solutions based on real-life experience – much like the creation of the Football Program to counter high stigma towards people with HIV. Even though Ginan’s daily work requires dealing with death, addiction, economic hardship, imprisonment, and other emotionally challenging issues, his spirit is indefatigable. He keeps up a positive spirit and a belief that anything is possible, which has inspired his staff to go the extra mile when they care, counsel, and support their peers.

How did you first hear about Changemakers?

Through another organization or company

If through another, please provide the name of the organization or company

Spiritia (Indonesian National Network of HIV/AIDS Support Groups)