By: Amy Howard
Happy New Year and Happy Youth Festival from SWB Uganda! We have had an incredible week with our participants as we celebrated our Third Annual Kampala Youth Festival. This year's theme was "I Have a Dream…" and we encouraged all of our participants to dream big, set goals, and take action to achieve those goals. We had amazing energy and effort from all of our local staff, as well as our five volunteers from the United States. Thank you to everyone who made a difference this week!
Here’s a recap of the Third Annual Kampala Youth Festival:
Day 1 - We opened up this day with fun registration games, a life skills lesson on goal setting, and non-football games at the pitch. The younger participants took part in handball games, while the older participants enjoyed playing kickball with Coach Turner and Coach Nicole. It was an educational and fun filled day that ended with a delicious plate of rice and beans.
Day 2 - After registration, the morning started with team cheer presentations. Coach Frank and the baby class impressed everyone with their cheer, "We are the monkeys, the little, little, monkeys!" Afterwards, all teams took part in a scavenger hunt around Nsambya, where there were different speakers at each location. All participants met back at the center for our guest speaker, Robert, from YARID (Young African Refugees for Integral Development). He gave a personal account of fleeing from the DRC and overcoming much adversity in his life to get where he is today. Our participants loved hearing a story so close to home.
Day 3 - On Wednesday, our participants went into their groups and reviewed team goals with their coach. Coach Olivier and the girls had a great goal for the week: to be good role models for other participants in the program! After reviewing goals, all teams headed up to the pitch for a football circuit. There were five stations: heading, passing, dribbling, receiving, and goalkeeping. The participants had a fantastic time and worked very hard. It was a great practice session before they jumped into Football3 games the next day!
Day 4 - Thursday was one of our favorite days of the week! After games in the mooring with coaches, all of the participants headed up to the pitch for a fun morning of Football3. The coaches did a great job mediating, and the participants did an outstanding job of coming up with rules for the game and being their own referees. Some great goals were scored (especially by our U-10 boys), and fair play was seen all around. After Football3, we had a professional football player speak to our participants about working hard and never giving up to achieve your dreams. The rice and beans were extra delicious that day after a long morning of football play!
Day 5 - Friday was such a fun day! The morning started with lots of music and dancing as participants filed in after registration. Everyone broke into their groups and discussed progress toward their team goals. Next, each participant was given a certificate in which they wrote down their own personal goal, and what they will do to achieve it. It was inspiring to see many participants dreaming BIG! Many of our girls and boys have dreams to be a nurse, a teacher, a doctor, pilot, or a professional footballer. Our participants will have these certificates to refer back to as they are working towards their individual goals. Parents were welcome this day, as each of our groups performed a skit on the importance of working hard and dreaming big. We have some incredible actors on our hands at SWB! After the performances, we gave "Participant of the Week" certificates to one outstanding boy or girl from each group. We ended the week with one last plate of rice and beans, lots of music, and even a rainstorm! But the rain didn't stop our participants from enjoying the last hour of our Third Annual Youth Festival.
Our participants learned a lot this week about goal setting and hard work, and we know they already are looking forward to the 2015 Youth Festival!