Thanks to the generous support of concerned donors from around the world, Right To Play was proudly able to assist in facilitating the game that should have been- a spirited baseball game between the Ugandan and Canadian Little League Teams. The majority of funds raised supported the travel and associated costs related to the Canadian team’s visit in January to Kampala. That said, both organizer Ruth Hoffman and Right To Play agreed that additional funds needed to be raised to support a legacy program serving the needs of the Ugandan team following that visit, with direction and insight provided by their coach George Mukhobe. To that end, additional funds were raised to support the following three legacy projects, and we are pleased to provide the following update:
We can report that all Ugandan players (12) who participated in the Pearl of Africa Series have received scholarships, guaranteeing their school funding for this year and the following year (total of two years). We have ensured the proper allocation of funds by paying those tuition fees directly to the school.
Right To Play has started looking into whether or not to proceed with the original scholarship plans (offering scholarships to 22 youth), or to extend the time period of those 12 scholarships presently offered; if we proceed with the latter option, there will be four years of tuition fees confirmed for the 12 Pearl of Africa Series players. This thorough evaluation will begin shortly, with a final decision to be made in December 2012.
A portion of the legacy resources have been designated to support a transportation fund in order to promote and sustain youth baseball in Uganda, and, more specifically, matches played within the Ugandan Youth Baseball League. While Right To Play acts as the custodian for the funds, all decisions made regarding fulfilling requests for these funds lies with the Ugandan Baseball and Softball Association (UBASA) with dedicated support from UBASA representatives George Mukhobe (Baseball Association President and Coach of the All-star Ugandan baseball team) and Ole Tangen (Coach of the Kayambogo team). All Ugandan youth baseball teams can apply for these transport funds with a request through UBASA; at the present time, just under half of the total transportation funds have been invested in youth teams.
Safe Play Space
Right To Play’s staff in Uganda is currently in negotiations with a local community centre in Kampala regarding the rehabilitation of an existing field to accommodate a safe play space for youth to play baseball. The construction of this space will include a long term strategy for maintenance and security.
Nsambya Slums Update
The Nsambya slums, home to many of the Pearl of Africa Series players and featured in Sportsnet’s “Fair Ball” documentary, has recently been purchased for development. While many of the families who reside in the slums are required to move, the majority of residents will not receive displacement compensation. Regrettably, many of the players and their families will have to find new homes.
Photos of the equipment distribution, Soroti Secondary School: