It's back! Join our coaches in Kampala, Uganda for the 2023 SWB Uganda Youth Festival. You will have the opportunity to support refugee youth with a week of on and off the field activities focused
on soccer, team-building, and cultural exchange.
January 16th to 20th, 2023
Get to know the players, staff, and community of Soccer Without Borders through the best way we know how... on the pitch! Experience how soccer can unite individuals and provide opportunities to build relationships. Your time in Uganda will be full of pick-up matches, soccer practices, and tournaments.
Discover a new place and context by connecting with the SWB community and immersing yourself in the cultures of our participants and coaches. While in Uganda, volunteers will receive an in-depth orientation to life in Kampala, participate in cultural exchange, and learn about SWB's program model and approach to working with youth.
Grow your understanding of sport-based youth development by assisting SWB staff in preparing and delivering activities for more than 500 youth in the Nsambya and Kirombe neighborhoods. Volunteers will be introduced to SWB's unique coaching framework, gaining experience in creating youth-centered and inclusive spaces.
Festivals at SWB Uganda are week-long events held during mid-semester breaks and out-of-school time that build community amongst the diverse youth of the Nsambya and Kirombe neighborhoods. Festival curriculum maintains a balance between fun soccer drills and games, music and dancing, and team-building activities. Each festival week is designed around a specific theme with the goal of supporting youth to work collaboratively, form new friendships, exchange across cultures and backgrounds, and have fun!
Volunteers are essential to the success of the festival. As a part of the SWB team you will wear many hats and support all aspects of the festival from preparation, to set-up, to equipment distribution, to coaching and playing. You will use your energy, enthusiasm and passion for soccer to help facilitate on and off field activities for youth throughout the week. Volunteers and staff are very busy during the festival; each day begins bright and early and ends in the evening. As a team, volunteers and staff will have several opportunities throughout the week to get to know one another, experience the city of Kampala and local culture, participate in team-building, reflect on the meaning of authentic collaboration, and understand our work in the context of the sport-for-development movement.
Newcomers in Uganda
Uganda is home to one of the largest populations of refugees and internally displaced peoples in Africa. In the UNHCR's 2017 Global Trends Report, Uganda was listed as #3 on the list of countries, worldwide, receiving the most displaced persons. Of the 68.5 million worldwide, 1.4 million of those displaced are living in Uganda, many having left from the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan. Because of the relatively hospitable policies toward victims of forced migration, refugees from all over the Great Lakes and Horn of Africa region come to Uganda to seek security and peace within its borders.
Most refugees are brought to one of the many refugee settlements in the area, where they are given a small piece of land, basic non-food items and basic food rations from the UN/World Food Programme. However there are now nearly 100,000 refugees who have opted out of the settlement life in pursuit of other opportunities and are living in Uganda's urban areas foregoing all support, financial or otherwise, from the United Nations. While refugees remain in Kampala in search of better social services including education, healthcare, communication, development, and opportunities for their futures, they face great obstacles. Language barriers, xenophobia, lack of local recognition of scholastic and professional diplomas, lack of financial resources, and absence of institutional support all inhibit refugees from starting their lives anew while living in a new place indefinitely and sometimes permanently. Among all of these barriers, refugees who have settled in urban areas often say that the biggest barrier they face in Uganda is a lack of access, for adults and children alike, to educational opportunities. As a result, there is a huge need for youth-centered programs to provide positive learning opportunities and create support networks to ensure that students progress academically, stay healthy, and reach their full potential.