Aug 27, 2015
Forced out of school because their either orphaned or their parents cannot afford to meet the school requirements due to abject poverty. All hope was lost but not until Rev Fr Michael Ssenfuma; the Katimba catholic parish priest started a youth talents project.
It is a community based project, targeting mainly young boys of ages 8 to 15 years, drawn from seven villages around Katimba catholic parish in Sembabule district.
Now in its third year, the project is steadily evolving into a soccer academy, thanks to partial funding from a United Arab Emirates (UAE) based automotive company; Centralized spare parts trading (CSPT) which offers Shs 36m per year for the project.
“We believe soccer is a vehicle for social transformation and a tool for conflict resolution. Even these boys are not engaged in productive activities, they can turn into a societal problem; to build a peaceful environment, we have to use different mechanisms to make them productive,” Fr Ssenfuma said.
His project has about 250 boys clustered into 10 football teams. He has also hired two full time coaches to train the boys.
“Those that had dropped out of school have been facilitated to go back, and as such, their training sessions start in the evening after they have left school,” Fr Ssenfuma said.
Because inadequate funding, the boys commute from their homes to attend the training sessions, but Fr Ssenfuma hopes to construct hostel facilities in the near future so that he can be fully in charge of the boys.
“We would want to do more because our society needs more of this,” he said. “I want to share my entire gifts with the World around me. The spirituality, the talent, the music etc will empower others to live a purpose driven life,” he added.
To financially support them, Fr Ssenfuma has also started a poultry project for the boys that he hopes will enable them to support their families.
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