Thursday December 7 2017

Slum children, youth find solace in Right To Play

Champions. Springs lifted the U-17 football

Champions. Springs lifted the U-17 football category after beating TLC 4-3 on penalties. PHOTO BY ABUBAKER LUBOWA 

By MAKHTUM MUZIRANSA

KAMPALA.

One has got to bear the brunt of walking through the small traffic-packed road that connects Kyebando to Kiira Road and jumping over trenches to locate Treasure Life Centre (TLC) in Kamwokya.
Kamwokya is home to mostly people doing just enough to survive. It is in this surrounding of the under privileged and more like these in Kyebando, that Right To Play is implementing Tusobola – Together We Can Make It, a life skills project to protect and promote the rights of children and youth since 2015.
The project continues to engage more than 3,000 children and youth in seven primary schools and the two communities through sports and education since 2000.
“We have seen what the power of play can do to our community in terms of building skills and strengthening youth association,” Right To Play’s executive director Evelyn Aguti, said at a function on Saturday.
On the day, Springs – a team from Kamwokya that usually train at the community pitch next to Kiira Road Police Station won the football tournament in the U-17 category after beating TLC 4-3 on penalties while Divine won the U-14 finals 2-0 at the expense of Kololo Soccer Academy.
“Right To Play gives us a chance to showcase our talents and that is important for any child that grows from communities like ours,” Springs captain Yunus Ali, 17, told Daily Monitor.
“Being here means that all these children and youth have cut off some of the time they would have spent engaging in abusing drugs and alcohol. By the time we leave, we can only return home inspired to become better players,” he added.
Kamwokya is well known for nurturing the talent of musician turned Member of Parliament Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu alias Bobi Wine. It is therefore no surprise that for any project to survive here, it must be in sync with music.
Musicians like Nubian Li graced the event to inspire these ‘ghetto youth’ with desires and fantasies while Fufa’s Asuman Lubowa and Uganda Olympic Committee vice president Ambrose Tashobya, promised to see to it that they support the Tusobola project.
“Sport has the power to do so many things in the lives of young ones. We therefore need to create an environment where they can feel they belong and seek inspiration.
“On a personal note I will provide basketballs and ensure that get more strategic partnerships. We shall also see how UOC under the Sports for All initiative can support this cause,” said Tashobya, who doubles as president of Fuba – the local basketball governing body.

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