Although considerable progress has been made since the civil war of the 1970s and 1980s, Uganda is still one of the poorest countries in the world. While the more recent conflict in Northern Uganda appears to have subsided, a massive humanitarian crisis remains, with more than one million people displaced and the ongoing abduction and recruitment of child soldiers. In addition to a legacy of civil unrest, Uganda continues to suffer from the pancontinental HIV and AIDS pandemic. Despite modest success in tackling HIV and AIDS, the disease has had a tragic impact on the lives of hundreds of thousands of children, many of who are now orphans.
Working with the government of Uganda and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Right To Play began programming in Uganda in 2001 to help enhance the self-reliance of refugees living in the country’s southwestern Oruchinga and Nakivale refugee camps. Additional sport and play interventions were implemented in the Rhino, Imvepi and Kyaka II refugee camps, and by 2002, the programs were expanded to include the capital, Kampala. By 2010, the Kampala project alone implemented activities in 122 schools through partnership with local communities and organizations.
By strengthening the capacity of local staff, volunteers and partner organizations, Right To Play is empowering the community so they may provide children and youth with sustainable sport and play activities that promote child development, HIV and AIDS prevention, gender equality and child protection rights. By using the best practices of sport and play, Right To Play continues to enhance life skills such as leadership, discipline, fair play and conflict resolution. Ultimately, children who possess crucial life skills will serve as catalysts for healthier, happier and more peaceful communities.
In line with national targets and strategies for achieving the Millenium Development Goals, Right To Play’s programs in Uganda seek to improve the quality of basic education, the development of life skills, and the promotion of health and social development.
The goal of the program in Uganda is to create a safe and interactive learning environment for children and youth, particularly girls. Right To Play is supporting Uganda’s youngest generations as they work to develop the crucial leadership skills that will enable them to play an active role in the community and secure a better future for themselves and their peers.
In 2011, Right To Play plans to reach: 117,500 children and youth (51 per cent female); 1,598 coaches, junior leaders and teachers (50 per cent female); 186 schools; 61 community centers
Partners: Uganda National Society for Disabled Children, Uganda National Association of The Blind, Lubya Youth Manpower Development Agency, Hope Clinic Lukuli, HONECRIC (Hoima Network of Child Rights Clubs), Naguru Community, Soroti Youth Aid Organization (SYAO), AIDS Information Centre, Build Africa, German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ); the Office of the Prime Minister; the Refugee Welfare Council; Save the Children; UNHCR; and the District Education Office.