Updated: Nov 1, 2021
The biggest argument and forever justified case in everyone’s walk of life is failure to start working on one’s desired dreams or goals. The fear of the unknown always has many people’s minds clouded with the fear of the unknown.
Machinery: Masindi District Local Government Engineer Sunday Joseph Atwooki has been at the forefront of ensuring the works on the ground levelling and tree cutting are done properly.
With a fantasy dream and gloating desire to serve more than just the people of Acholi Quarters, the Aliguma Foundation re-modelled their mission, values, objectives and goals to cater for more than just a handful of slum dwellers in the urban areas.
Last year, a 15-acre plot of land in Kinuma Village – Bigando Parish, Miirya Sub-County, just 10 kilometres from Masindi Town was acquired and earmarked as the place that would be official home of the Aliguma Foundation Sports & Empowerment Centre (AFSEC).
The adage; “The rains will always find only those that are prepared,” never gets old and it proved ever-so timely for the foundation who got the backing of UEFA Foundation For Children through their Sports For Resilience & Empowerment Project (SREP) in November last year.
Topping up on the savings from the foundation’s enterprise returns, the Aliguma Foundation set about preparing to get works on the centre started. Unfortunately, it wasn’t possible as the coronavirus pandemic engaged another gear; biting and stifling activity across the divide and more especially in Uganda where the government ignited a strict lockdown and curfew times.
No Mountain Too High: The Kinuma site has been a bevy of graders and excavators working on a daily to ensure the hilly plot is levelled as per the plan of the sporting facility.
But there was a window of hope after the 42-day lockdown in Uganda ended. Towards the end of August 2021 after the Aliguma Foundation officials had met the community elders and natives of Bigando Parish to sell their mission and educate them on their works and how they would benefit as a society, a tranquil ground-breaking ceremony was held.
Since then, works have been going on whenever the machinery from Masindi District is available and the plot that was partly filled with Eucalyptus citriodora (Kalintusi), is starting to sport a new look.
Major focus has been dedicated on levelling the six acres dedicated to the sports facility that will comprise of two soccer fields; one main ground with a running track and covered stands, a side soccer training pitch plus a court apiece for tennis, basketball, netball and volleyball as well as a swimming pool.
“This work is more hectic than we had anticipated,” reveals Aliguma Foundation CEO Ritah Aliguma.
Sneak Peek: A view of part of the plot that will house the football field after the rocks and trees had been uprooted by the powerful machinery from Masindi District Local Council.
“But the clearing and cutting of trees is done. The levelling is still on-going since part of the plot is hilly and had to be dug nine metres down. We thought it was a job that could be done in a week but it has taken over two months and work is still on going.
“However, the Fufa technical person working with us (Caf Stadium Inspector Ivan Bayige Kintu) had warned us about the serious work involved in erecting playing fields. We are braced for it and keeping the faith.
“For example, we are happy that the different access route to the stadium has already been completed,” added Aliguma.
She was flanked by Masindi District Local Government Engineer Sunday Joseph Atwooki and the foundation’s Operations and Multi-Media Manager Ivan Tugume, who has been on ground to supervise the works in Masindi since August 20th.
Masterminds. Masindi District Local Government Engineer Sunday Joseph Atwooki (3rd R) Confederation of African Football Stadium Inspector Ivan Kintu Bayige (2nd L), FUFA Appeals Committee member Sabiiti Muwanga (C), Aliguma Foundation Operations & Multi-Media Manager Ivan Tugume (4th R), CEO Ritah Aliguma (3rd L) alongside Kinuma Village elders after the first day of work on the 15-acre plot of land that will be the home of the foundation.
According to Ritah, the estimated time for completion of the levelling phase is mid-December and the good news is that the caretaker’s house has been renovated and the area of the poultry, piggery and rabbit rearing has been cleared with construction of the structures scheduled for early November.
“We have another engineer (Joseph Atugonza) who is going to help with the works on animal rearing structures. We are ready to start because we have someone who will be on ground to supervise,” added Ritah.
With a lot of work involved including the construction of a farming and demonstration greenhouse for teaching and empowering purposes for the people of the area and beyond as well as cottages for accommodation and administration blocks, some of which will be work stations for locals engaging in enterprise activities like; shoe making, bakery, reusable pads making, tailoring, house-keeping, child care, nutrition, phone repair, computer literacy, finance and business development among others, the pick out point is that several natives of Masindi and even some from as far as Acholi Quarters in Kampala have been able to get work as casual labourers on the site hence earning a living and forthwith improving their livelihoods.
“This is a big plus for us. At least 100 people are working on the site. It gives us (Aliguma Foundation) joy that we can employ as many people in different roles. For them to be willing to chip in is big. Even if we are giving them a small allowance, working here gives them a sense of attachment that this project and centre is theirs and the many generations to come,” disclosed Tugume.
THE BRIEF & HOW WILL IT WORK
The SREP venture is a long-term project that is looking to use sport and trade skills to empower no less than 3,000 children and 1,000 caregivers to escape social and economic exclusion by 2023. The task at hand for Aliguma Foundation is to make sure the project is a success and people can earn from their works by drafting user manuals, best practice briefs and articles, conducting research studies and project evaluation.
Bird's View: What uses to be a bushy plot full of Eucalyptus citriodora (Kalintusi) now spots a shaven look that is still under works to have it fully cleared for sports and enterprise projects.
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