Håndballambassadørene Marit Breivik, Else-Marthe Sørlie Lybekk og Alexander Buchmann besøkte i september Right To Play's prosjekter i Uganda. Her gjennomførte trioen håndballskole med stor entusiasme til stor glede og inspirasjon for unge, lovende håndballtalenter som knapt nok tidligere hadde sett eller tatt i en håndball. Representanter fra Right To Play's nasjonale partner Kjøpmannshuset med SPAR og Joker deltok også på turen. Les hele historien skrevet av Right To Play's lokale kommunikasjonskoordinator i Uganda, Atuhura Tadeo under.
NORWEGIAN DELEGATION CONDUCTS HANDBALL CLINIC AND WITNESSES THE POWER OF SPORT AND PLAY
By Atuhura Tadeo
Country & Regional communications Coordinator- EASA
“It’s thrilling to see what the children are doing in terms of games and I’m amazed how the junior leaders are conducting their activities”! These revelations and many others defined the expressions from a team of visitors from Norway upon seeing the children conducting Right To Play activities. The delegation from Norway included three Athlete Ambassadors from the Norwegian National Handball Team together with Right To Play Norway’s National Partners SPAR & Joker. National Director Laila Andresen was head of the delegation which visited Uganda in September 2009. The team visited Kampala projects in Naguru community and LYMPDA (Lubya Youth Manpower Development Agency), and conducted handball clinics in Omoro and Morapesu primary schools in Lira and Soroti respectively.
“The skills the handball delegation gave the Right To Play coaches and the children will help us promote a team spirit among the children and the community. We will use the handball book given out to guide us to increase on the talents of the children in handball”, explained Victor Ekesu project coordinator Lira. The Right To Play project in Lira is now reaching out to more than 12.000 children after a period of less than two years of activities.
“I’m amazed how the children are conducting the games among fellow children. This is so inspiring to me. I’m learning a lot about Right To Play’s games”, said Alexander Buchmann, Right To Play Athlete Ambassador and handball player on the Norwegian National Team.
While conducting the handball clinic in Amach primary school, Marit Breivik, former Head Coach Norwegian National Handball Team, noted that the children are fast at learning the handball skill. The team organized two teams of children and trained them to learn and improve handball skills. Supported by Else-Marthe Sorlie Lybekk, Athlete Ambassador and the most-winning female handball player in Norway including the Olympic Gold Medal from Beijing’08, the delegation managed to interact with the children through sport and play. “There is a lot to learn from the children, they are active and willing to learn. This is thrilling,” said Marit.
Gilbert, junior leader in Oromo primary school, described the visit of the team as a source of inspiration to the children and a tool of encouragement towards what they were engaged in. “I am happy that you have come to play with us. This is great for us and we feel happy and free”, Gilbert said enthusiastic. In Moruapesur the sounds of “Do as I do”, a warm up game and the Right To Play claps, defined a happy moment for the visitors. Children were excited of the interaction and free encounter of the visiting team. In a poem on sanitation a junior leader described the importance of Right To Play’s with focus on hygiene through the Green Health Ball.
“From these games children learn how to cooperate, they promote gender equality and empower women. Sports help to increase female physical and mental health and offers opportunities for social interaction and friendship. Sports participation leads to increased self esteem, self confidence and enhanced sense of control over ones body”, explained the Soroti Deputy Resident District Commissioner (RDC) while meeting the delegation. “As government we are so happy with your support to enable our children get meaningful play through Right To Play. You complement a big component in our development strategy. You have the full support from government in all what you want to create through Right To Play, said Mr. Michael Bwalatum Deputy RDC Soroti District.
The head teacher of Moruapesur Primary School expressed joy at the support got from the team since 2007 when Marit Breivik visited and gave out handballs when conducting handball clinic for the the children. The children have improved in their performance in class because of the support of Right To Play. “Before Right To Play activities were introduced in our school there was a problem of hygiene, conflicts among the children and high dropouts. This has since changed with the involvement of Right To Play activities. The children now play and learn together”, says the Head Teacher. “We were also pleased to increase on our sports activities with the introduction of the game of handball. The children love the game so much in that they are now competing on whom to play first. We are now planning to get more handball equipment so more children can play and enjoy the game,” says the Head Teacher.
“These games have taught us on how to live together. We have learnt how to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS and other related diseases. This has been achieved through the Live Safe Play Safe games like “Don’t trust your eyes”. This game has key learning of not trusting your eyes to determine who is infected with HIV and who does not, and you can only get to know your status after taking an HIV test”, explained Doreen in Soroti. “The games have taught us leadership skills. They have empowered the girls to be courageous and take on leadership roles which were a domain of the boys”, said Christine, Junior Leader in Oromo Primary school. “We play together with the boys. We are not separated from each other as we were in earlier games”, adds JuniorLeader Alupo Grace.
As part of the program of the last day of the visit, the delegation visited the early childhood center in LYMPDA. Here they joined the little children performing a “Dugu Kapamba”, a locally designed warm up game. Spending time with the children at the center was a great experience to the team. The children demonstrated key learning gained from Right To Play games. Marion, the Master Coach and volunteer teacher at the center described the children as an inspiration and value the children are to society. “These children come from poor families, but they always want to learn and are very happy with the games,” said Marion.
The center is an education center for about 120 children who cannot be able to afford modern kindergarten fees. They come here to learn and play with their fellow children. The center has helped to restore hope in the parents of the children who can’t afford to let them go to school. “As the LYMPDA coaches, we are happy for the transformation that has come through Right To Play games to the children”, explained Yusufu Baraza, Master coach and Chairman LYMPDA. “Children used to loiter in the whole village without going to school. There were no near by schools to take on this children but thanks to Right To Play, they has promoted inclusion, cooperation, team work and fun that have enabled learning to the young children,” added Yusufu.