The last couple of days have been hectic and tough for the Aliguma Foundation officials and their elite volunteers running heavy traffic to ensure their ‘Biggest Sports Gala’ at the Acholi Quarters Playground next week on March 15 is remembered as a fairytale.
Coming Together: L.C IIl Councilor Mukoiko (background left) and CEO Ritah Aliguma (background right) look on in awe as the Acholi Quarters youth put in a work shift at their playground this week. (Photo/Aliguma Foundation Media)
Led by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Ritah Aliguma and Ismail Mukoiko - the slum area’s ever-passionate L.C III Councilor of Kireka-Banda B1 Zone, they have traversed no less than 20 schools with courtesy visits preaching the news of girl-child empowerment, gender balance and sport as a tool to keep the mind refreshed for their respective academic obligations.
“This is part of our Schools Outreach Programme,” said Aliguma, who has without doubt worked her socks off with a bumper schedule to ensure everything is top notch on the day.
Hygiene Is Key: The boys get on in on the cleaning act in evening after wrapping up with their respective classes for the day. (Photo/Aliguma Foundation Media)
“We have distributed balls and sanitary pads from our partners to all the schools we have visited. Our visits there are always emotional affairs because we are welcomed with ululations and dancing routines.
"The schools have also been courteous enough to confirm their participation in the gala although it will be midweek. It’s always a give and give situation from us and when we receive a kind gesture like this in return, we don’t take it for granted.”
Motherly Love: As ever, the mothers and eldery women of Acholi Quarters are more than willing to lend a hand to any cause in their area. (Photo/Aliguma Foundation Media)
New look ground
Mukoiko has been the spearhead of traffic at the renovation works at the Acholi Quarters Playground. The sanctuary of sports in the slum-dwellers area has been a sight of demonstrative community involvement with a beehive of activities going on simultaneously.
One glance at one end of the pitch will greet you with the girl-child joining the boy-child to show that the two can co-exist harmoniously together as they go about painting the ground’s pavilion with admirable artworks.
Another glimpse at another corner, you will see the little juveniles joining their elder sisters, brothers and mothers in scrubbing the pavilion and fetching sacks of soil to help refill and level the ground that is always affected by poor drainage systems in the slum areas because of its location - a sloping terrain valley.
“We cannot leave everything to Aunt Ritah (as the people in the slum communities prefer to call Ritah Aliguma),” explained the hard-working Mukoiko.
Making The Future Certain: The pupils of Creamland Primary School are elated with their latest acquisitions; balls for the boys and balls & sanitary pads for the girls. (Photo/Aliguma Foundation Media)
Community chipping in
“As a community it is our duty to participate. We have to lend a hand. Whatever is being done is not for the Aliguma Foundation but for us – especially the youth. This is the message I preach to them every day and they now believe it and have taken it upon themselves to contribute to the development of the Acholi Quarters Playground. That’s why you see this much traffic on the ground on a daily basis.”
Joy Of A Ball: The Head Boy of St. Matia Mulumba Catholic Day & Boarding Primary School receives a ball soon after his school confirmed participation in the upcoming sports gala. (Photo/Aliguma Foundation Media)
CEO Aliguma, too, chipped in; “As a foundation, we are overjoyed by the community development. I am speechless. Everyone is willing to lend a hand with their skills to make certain there is change. This is exactly what we set out to do when we started the foundation in 2017 – to change lives through sports and enterprise.”
Some of the schools that were visited and confirmed participation in the ‘Sports Gala’ include; Elgon Infants Primary School, God’s Will Kindergarten & Primary School, St. Matia Mulumba Catholic Day & Boarding Primary School, Kireka Army Primary School, Kyambogo Primary School, Luigi Primary School, Aisaya Primary School in Katogo, Creamland Primary School and Mbuya Barracks Primary School among others.
Special Breed: The mothers of Acholi Quarters are always a cheerful crop who are always praying for the success of the Aliguma Foundation. Their prayers have never been in vain. (Photo/Aliguma Foundation Media)
Aliguma Foundation is looking to make this Sports Gala an annual event to foster competition amongst the primary schools in the area with hope of turning it into a bigger national slum-dwellers primary school championship.