Everything continues to fall into place nicely for the Aliguma Foundation as the world continues to forge forward in these post Covid-19 pandemic times.
Two months down the road after rolling out Phase 2 of the Acholi Quarters Playground upgrade in the Kireka-Banda Zone, the desired results are starting to come to the fore.
Having successfully completed the grass-planting phase, the rains have bore fruit quicker than expected with the grass sprouting out early .
“The grass is greener,” exclaimed Aliguma Foundation Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Ritah Aliguma after a recent routine visit to the community of the less-privilleged slum dwellers.
Birds Haven: The pitch’s view from the entrance side on the right shows good shades of green with different species of birds turning it into their place of solace.
“We want it to grow to a certain level and ensure the grass-roots are sprayed out firmly into the ground. And then we shall give it its first trim. The trim will give us what to work on next.”
Fast rewind will remind everyone how the playground that hosted the Annual Slums Soccer Tournament was a dangerously uneven rocky, muddy and dusty playing surface.
And after being approved as one of the 16 new children projects by UEFA Foundation For Children to get some funding through the Sports for Resilience and Empowerment Project (SREP) in November 2020, the Aliguma Foundation set out on improving the Acholi Quarters surface to an acceptable plateau-like all-weather fully grass-grown multi-purpose sports pitch.
“It is a good feeling to see the grass come out this early,” said one the community’s youth leaders Brian Onen.
“Whenever the rains have delayed to come out, the youth have been proactive by fetching water to sprinkle the ground. We cannot wait to play here. But we understand that we must wait a little longer to allow the grass to fill the remaining patches.”
The project targets girls, boys, women and other caregivers (including refugees and those with disabilities) living in Acholi Quarters with an aim of giving them not only a cheer in the lives but also a chance for the younger ones to hone their skills and possibly be able to earn from them as professional athletes in future.
Earlier Work: During the first phase, graders and excavators neutralised the rocky playing surface.
During the Third Phase, the Aliguma Foundation will be looking to embark on the construction of user-friendly toilets and up-to-scratch changing rooms.
The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), the UN Refugee Agency, who offered hand and casual labourers’ tools including rakes and hoes, are the Foundation’s partners alongside UEFA for this particular project.
ABOUT THE UEFA SREP PROJECT
UEFA Foundation For Children earmarked 16 projects from 15 African countries. In total they’re 55 projects world over with others from Europe, Asia, North & South America, as well as Oceania.
The other African countries picked out are Kenya, Tanzania, South Sudan Democratic Republic of Congo, Congo, Ivory Coast, Mali, Morocco, Mozambique, Senegal, Central African Republic, Chad, Lesotho and South Africa who have two projects.
Lending A Hand: From elders to toddlers, no one was spared as everyone chipped in a hand to the second phase – the grass-planting exercise.
The 2020/21 budget of €4,812,021 ($6,409,154.83 or UGX 21 billion) was allocated to new projects or an extension of existing projects. to embark on the Third Phase in earnest by constructing user-friendly toilets and up-to-scratch changing rooms at the facility.
Source: Aliguma Foundation website