2019 was a year for the books at SWB Uganda! Amidst the final exams, preparations for our Youth Festival, and the excitement of end of the season celebrations with our teammates, we are reflecting on the moments and milestones that our community of participants, staff, and supporters achieved over the course of the past 12 months...
Youth Literacy classes double in size With support from the Dorothea Haus Ross Foundation we added an entire second shift of academic courses in order to meet the growing needs expressed by our community. This project enabled us us to build a brand new classroom, double the size of our staff, increase youth registration by nearly 40%, strengthen our on-field language-integrated football curriculum, and build a brand-new, literacy-infused life skills curriculum for classes.
Common Goal Features Coach Jules
Education Coordinator Jules Mayele shared his perspective as both a former participant and current coach at SWB Uganda in this video feature from our friends at Common Goal. When reflecting on his decision to join SWB as a staff member, Jules said "It was an opportunity to give back to my fellow refugees that came to Uganda and faced the same obstacles that I was facing. It's what pushes me to work harder and harder every day."
Investing in coach education
In July, our staff took advantage of the break between semesters to invest in our own learning, exploring ways in which we can better serve our participants and design inclusive programming. With the support of our new partners at AFDP Global, coaches and coordinators participated in a week-long trauma-informed coaching exchange followed up by refresher courses in October and December.
SWB welcomes 2 alumni onto staff After participating in our staff training workshops in July, Yannick and Amsi, 2 recent graduates of SWB and former Youth Assistant Coaches, were officially onboarded as head coaches. Together, Yannick and Amsi are leading our 2 U10 Boys’ teams, the Panthers and the Oxen. We are so excited to see all that these 2 will bring to another year of coaching!
Women Take the Lead: Season 2 In October SWB brought together more than 40 coaches representing 9 organizations and 7 districts across Uganda with support from streetfootballworld and the German Federal Foreign Office. Season 2 again focused on training emerging female coaches to serve their communities through football with a week of coaching courses and leadership workshops. Since October, coaches have been honing their skills and working with youth teams to host football events in their communities for women and girls, including 4 youth football galas, hosted by the participating organizations in December and January alone. For an inside look at the 2019 Women Take the Lead conference, check out this blog post.
Launch of the Community Barefoot League
This new league kicked off in July in collaboration with Coach Rasta, a member of our Affiliate Coaching Program, and his network of coaches working with Ugandan youth from surrounding neighborhoods. After discussing the equipment challenges faced by many youth in the area, SWB worked with Coach Rasta to establish this weekly co-ed league designed for any young person, ages 12-18 to participate in. No boots required!
Girls participation reaches an all time high Just 3 years ago, roughly 15% of the girls enrolled in SWB participated in at least 1 football training session. This season 90% of our girls participated in at least 1 football session.... and 75% have participated in 10 or more in the fall season alone! We've also seen participation increase off the pitch as well; in 2019 over 70% of eligible girls (ages 12 and up) participated in 70% or more of our Girls Empowerment Program (GEP) lessons that take place each Wednesday at the Youth Center discussing topics like leadership, respect, confidence-building, menstrual health, HIV awareness, child marriage, and more.
Connecting with the global football-for-good community
Throughout 2019, our staff in Uganda have represented Soccer Without Borders on the national, regional, and international scales. From the most recent gathering of streetfootballworld East Africa partners in Busia, Uganda to exchange opportunities with Moving the Goalposts, Tackle Africa, and IDYDC in Kenya and Tanzania to the World Football Summit in Madrid, Spain our leadership team has been busy! In 2020 we look forward to more opportunities for connection with peers and the football-for-good sector both locally and globally!
These developments are a direct result of the dedication and hard work from our participants, staff, and YOU our community of passionate volunteers, donors, and supporters. THANK YOU! This holiday season, please consider #PlayingItForward by MAKING A DONATION to support newcomer youth in Kampala and beyond.