The Aliguma Foundation (AF) is set to roll out Phase 2 of its Acholi Quarters Playground in Kireka, Banda B1 Zone following the recent works on its surface.
The previously uneven, rocky and dusty turf is set to be transformed into a fully grass-grown multi-purpose sports pitch after the whole playing surface area getting re-levelled with powerful machinery including excavators and graders.
“Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the works have been moving on steadily and gradually this week under strict supervision with an aim to transform the vulnerable Acholi Quarters community through sports,” part of the association’s press release read.
The project that targets girls, boys, women and other caregivers (including refugees and those with disabilities) living in Acholi Quarters is supported by the UEFA Foundation For Children through its Sports for Resilience and Empowerment Project (SREP). In November 2020, the Foundation was announced among the 16 new children’s projects approved in Africa by the UEFA for a SREP.
Former Uganda Sports Press Association (USPA), Sabiiti Muwanga, also Fufa Appeals Committee Member has been part of the three-day exercise and he says that the grass planting has been flawless and the youth in the settlement have been actively involved.
“The rains have done us well,” Muwanga said. “Depending on how they continuously water the pitch in the morning and evening, the ground will be ready for use between four and six months.”
Muwanga added; “We are very happy with the community. They were cooperative and they really showed its their property. We don’t expect them to misuse it. This is going to be a hub of many talents across different sports disciplines.”
And the youthful team in Acholi Quarters led by their leader Brian Onen was equally delighted by the progress of the project that means much more than anything to their daily lives.
“This is our home. This is something we have not seen before. We are overly excited. We are going to make sure that the grass comes out well,” Onen said.
Aside sporting activities for the youth, the other primary goal of the sports facility equipped with
basic training facilities is to enable women and other caregivers in the area to benefit from the facility and gain skills to start and manage their own businesses thus allowing them to take care of themselves and their families sustainably.
The bigger picture will yield results in the form of protecting over 2,500 children from exploitation and enabling them to go to school and forthwith delay marriage until the right time as well as promote gender equality in Acholi Quarters through equal opportunities.
With Second Phase literally done, the Foundation will be looking to embark on the Third Phase in earnest by constructing user-friendly toilets and up-to-scratch changing rooms at the facility.
The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), the UN Refugee Agency, are the Foundation’s partners and they offered casual labourers’ tools for improving the playing conditions of the pitch in Acholi Quarters.
The Aliguma Foundation, founded by Ritah Aliguma is a social charity organization that fosters sustainable development within otherwise marginalized populations in Acholi Quarters slum settlement via sports and enterprise. It’s a simple philosophy, but one that is having a tremendous impact on the population particularly children and their mothers.