There has been a deliberate move by the Aliguma Foundation (AF) – a non-profit making charity organization – to change lives through sports and enterprise.
Skills Galore: A pupil of Bigando Primary School in Masindi does the overhead-kick dribble with one of the balls donated to the school by Aliguma Foundation courtesy of UEFA.
And when one sets out to give joy, change is imminent because many underprivileged and less-advantaged humans and communities live for the smaller finer things that life has to offer.
Since its inception in 2017, AF has been all about changing these lives through providing them an education, offering them a chance to hone their talents and an opportunity to earn an income from their personal skills.
From the beginning the task seemed uphill but the unwavering nature of AF officials led by their founder Ritah Aliguma only points to one thing – light at the end of the tunnel.
Through campaigns and projects like the fast-rising Annual Slums Soccer Tournament, whose sixth edition was notched by Acholi Quarters-based Tiger FC on January 15th, 2022, the foundation has given hope to millions of juveniles and teenagers through the beautiful game of soccer.
And without a doubt, it is the soccer activities and kit donations that have made sure Aliguma Foundation is able to make headway with other projects like the ‘Ndi Mwana – The Cry Of A Girl Child’ campaign.
“We give soccer balls to both boys and girls and more so the sanitary pads to girls to every school we go to as we sensitize on menstrual hygiene under girl-child campaign,” reveals the foundation’s founder Ritah Aliguma.
Gender Equality: If the boys play the beautiful game, then so will the girls, preaches Aliguma Foundation Chief Executive Officer Ritah Aliguma on her recent visit to Western Uganda .
“We talk to both girls and boys, for the boys not to laugh at girls but understand that it's normal. We talk to the children to abstain from sex so that they can avoid early pregnancy and catching deadly diseases.”
Many of the campaigns of the Aliguma Foundation run concurrently and rhyme in terms of the desired goal. With football, easily the number one sport in the country, being used as an easy catchment tool for the foundation’s target audience, many other programmes are easy to preach because most of the communities are already converted by the allure of football.
And with Uganda having ridden out the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic storm as President Yoweri Museveni opened all sectors of the economy last month, Aliguma Foundation have left no stone unturned in preaching the gospel of the beautiful game as a tool of change in remote schools.
The response has been overwhelming and forthwith surpassed the expectation with the catchphrase; “What a ball a can do!” trending all over the country.
“We are unbelievably excited,” said Aliguma after she had led the foundation’s officials to no less than 10 schools in Masindi District during a project progress-checking tour at the Aliguma Foundation Sports & Enterprise Centre (AFSEC) in Kinuuma Village.
Source Of Joy: The banana fibre soccer balls are easy to make, very accessible and remain the primary source of joy for the little ones in the native and remote areas of Uganda.
“What more can I say! Kids in remote schools still use banana fibre balls and now imagine what a real ball will mean to the young children. We want to reach out to as many schools as possible.”
UEFA’s latest gesture
The UEFA Foundation For Children, UNHCR Uganda and Kit Aid have emptied their kit offers to replenish what Aliguma Foundation offers to communities and schools. But with the project seemingly certain to hit a halt, UEFA have once again ran to the rescue with a shipment of 400 high standard soccer balls in 10 boxes so that other communities across the nation can benefit. The balls will be in Uganda anytime soon.
Beautiful Game: A cross-section of pupils all dream of having a kick at a real football after Aliguma Foundation officials made an impromptu stop over to their school and delivered a handful of balls.
“When our balls run out, we asked UEFA Foundation for more, thus the huge shipment they have dispatched to us. We are indebted to UEFA for helping us cover more ground and ensure our other campaigns benefit more less-privileged children across the country,” said Aliguma, who is also the foundation’s CEO.
“We encourage school teachers to involve kids in sports activities and thus give out balls to whichever schools we go to. Our mission is clear cut. Give as much joy as we educate and hone skills.”
Our request at Aliguma Foundation is for you to partner with us in changing the lives of the natives in these less-privileged communities. A ball, underwear, some little money for school fees or even just a box of sanitary pads is all that could be needed to change someone’s life for the better - for eternity.
Selfless Funders: The UEFA Foundation For Children social media handles have continued to highlight the universal power of the ball to give joy and strengthen friendships among many.
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