Uganda: Kiryandongo Sports Development Program
18 Successful Matches Held: Q2 2018
August 14, 2018
Naku Charles Lwanga
Summary of Activities
As of the 2014 census, there are over 266,197 residents in the Kiryandongo District, and based on records provided by the UNHCR and OPM (Office of the Prime Minister), there are more than 100,000 asylum seekers and refugees living in Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement. This includes Ugandan IDPs, Bududa survivors, and Congolese, Kenyan, and South Sudanese refugees, who are the main target population for this project. There are also refugees from Burundi and Rwanda.
RMF has continued to implement our sports development program within the settlement. During this reporting period, the following activities were carried out:
- Conducted regular soccer training and organized matches both inside and outside of Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement.
- Continued to conduct counseling and dialogue sessions with boys and girls in order to promote peace in youth communities, which has helped players cope with trauma and other psychological problems.
- RMF purchased essential sports training items, including balls, cones, sports bibs, uniforms, and cleats, among others.
- The social lives of the players have greatly improved. Before the project implementation, the youths living in the settlement could not easily interact with the host community, but as they gain more experience socializing and interacting with the host community through matches, the capacity for peace between the two continues to grow.
Sports Development Program
18 Successful Matches Held
The team successfully participated in the intra-settlement match that saw all the teams to the final. This helped improve the skills and confidence of the players.
The Kiryandongo Sports Development Program has successfully participated in a total of 12 matches inside the settlement and 6 matches outside the settlement. This has helped to improve the skills of the players and expose them more to other youth communities.
Communal Agricultural Project
Learning Life Skills
Participated in the ECO’s Communal Agricultural Project in which our team was trained on a variety of good agricultural practices and instructed on how to start a small-scale commercial farm without owning a lot of land. The players attending gained life-changing knowledge on good agricultural practices.
Diffusing Tribal Tensions
Teaching Life Skills & Cooperation
- The Kiryandongo Sports Development Program has contributed to diffusing tribal tensions that existed within the refugee community, especially among the youth, by promoting psychological wellbeing, life skills, and cooperation.
- This program continues to conduct counseling and dialogue sessions with boys and girls in order to promote peace in youth communities.
The divides and challenges from past trauma facing the youth of Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement are stark. With few structured activities for youth from both sides of the conflict in South Sudan to interact and a lack of exposure to activities and experiences outside of the camp, conflict between tribal groups within Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement is not uncommon. Bringing children and youth across tribes together to play sports with each other, as opposed to against each other, is an informal entry point that can be an initial bridge to larger societal change.
However, any program design can’t stop by simply addressing the current conflict, but also must speak to the trauma faced by youth before and since arriving in Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement. In 60% of the interviews conducted by RMF/PPI, “trauma from past experiences” was mentioned as a major issue facing children and youth today.
In the two primary schools PeacePlayers International (PPI) visited on their trip to Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement, there is an average of 1 teacher for every 93 students. In this environment, the Kiryandongo Sports Program has great potential to help its target beneficiaries develop the full range of life skills necessary for successful integration.
- Increase physical activity
- Improve health
- Decrease crime and violence within communities
- Create greater community cohesion