There will be more smiles after the Aliguma Foundation received approval from European football governing body, Uefa, for a two-year working relationship.
According to Aliguma Foundation founder Ritah Aliguma, many children living in Acholi Quarters, one of the biggest slums in Nakawa Division, would become a statistic.
Having started in June 2017, Aliguma has been helping young people by organising an annual Slums Soccer Derby championship, which will unfortunately be held this year because of the Coronavirus pandemic. She has also been helping mothers through enterprise. But after getting a Uefa Foundation nod for her project, ‘Sports for Resilience & Empowerment Project (SREP)’ which seeks to promote children’s fundamental rights, Aliguma believes the dream to establish a ‘dream city’ in Masindi is on.
After a tour to Turkmenistan’s city of Ashgabat, she promised herself to establish an empowerment centre in Masindi where the project owns six acres.
“Apart from improving on slum football, we are going to use the funding to build an empowerment centre in Masindi where we will establish a football pitch and basketball court as well as income generating activities – poultry, piggery and tailoring,” Aliguma said.
Through the help of the UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, the foundation received tools for improving the playing conditions of the pitch in Acholi Quarters while Women of Purpose – Boston funded activities of empowering mothers and youth through enterprise.
Uefa Foundation selected 24 projects in Europe; 16 in Africa; 8 in America, 6 in Asia; and 1 in Oceania to benefit from the €4,812,021 (Sh21b) pool.
She says that work is in the administrative process and as soon as funding is released, activities will immediately start.
“We are going to outsource most of the service providers although Uefa will give financial and technical support,” Aliguma says. She is looking ahead to establishing a hospital, school to meet the future needs.