UNHCR Representative in Uganda Joel Boutroue hands over a ball to a smiling Ritah Aliguma at the UNHCR head offices in Kololo, Kampala

World over, slums are confines with less privileged personalities, many of whom swim in abject poverty, high crime rate,  poor living conditions, including misery housing facilities with scanty basic necessities as food, electricity, water and clothing.

The appalling conditions aside, the slums are endowed with a wide range of people whose natural talents in the different fields as music, sports, education, arts and others can never be underestimated.

In Uganda, the Aliguma Foundation is at the fore front of development of football in these areas through the slum soccer initiative since 2017.

The slum soccer project is one envisaged as a unifying factor in the slums of Acholi quarters, Nakawa division, as well as the other divisions within Uganda’s capital city, Kampala.

The United Nations High Commission For Refugees (UNHCR) has come hand in hand with the Aliguma Foundation to support this worthwhile project.

UNHCR Representative in Uganda Joel Boutroue hands over jerseys and balls to Ritah Aliguma, founder of the Aliguma Foundation

UNHCR donated an assortment of sports gear for the up-coming tournament whose dates will be confirmed and made public in agreement with the National Council of Sports and Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) in compliance to the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) to mitigate the spread of the Coronavirus.

Sixteen sets of jerseys, thirty two balls, 16 pairs of goalkeepers’ gloves were the latest items donated, handed over by the UNHCR Country Representative in Uganda, Joel Boutroue at their head offices located in Kololo – Kampala (Mackenize Vale, off Mackenzie close).

The items were received by Ritah Aliguma, the founder of the Aliguma Foundation.

We hand over the items (jerseys, balls and goalkeepers’ gloves) to help in the organizing the tournament for the slum soccer tournament. We promise to continue supporting the Aliguma Foundation for the great noble cause undertaken.

Joel Boutroue, UNHCR Country Representative in Uganda

The latest donation follows an earlier offer by UNHCR in July 2020 of equipment to help improve the playing surface at Acholi Quarters.

The international body had earlier offered hoes, slashers, sickles, spades and axes, each 50 in number as well as 70 chevrolet branded balls (size four).

Ritah Aliguma, founder of Aliguma Foundation

Aliguma appreciated UNHCR for the support and promised to organize a tranquil tournament.

I want to thank UNHCR in a special way for the items donated to the Aliguma Foundation towards the development of the slum soccer project. We shall organize a successful tournament after agreeing with FUFA and NCS on the mechanism.

Ritah Aliguma, Founder of Aliguma Foundation.
Ritah Aliguma served as Uganda Sports Press Association (USPA) Vice President for two terms

The latest development comes barely a week after the Aliguma Foundation was announced by Europe’s football governing body, UEFA among the projects that will be financially facilitated among the 55 projects world wide.

The Aliguma Foundaton fronted “Sports for Resilience and Empowerment” which deservedly qualified among the 16 new children’s projects approved in Africa by the UEFA Foundation.

UEFA allocated $6,409,154.83 (Ug.Shs. 23,740,586,228.33) to new projects or an extension of existing projects across the world for proper implementation.

For starters, Luigi beat Kawenja  4-2 in post match penalties after normal time had ended 2 all during the final of the slums soccer tournament played in January 2020.

Ritah Aliguma , founder of Aliguma Foundation with the slums children

Thomas Orary Thomas scored twice for Luigi and Meddy Sente netted for team Kawenja before penalties were called to determine the winner.

Tiger piped Wolves 1-0 during the U-15 duel.

A number of remarkable Ugandan sportsmen and footballers in particular have had their talents potential identified from similar slum sports tournaments.

The Aliguma Foundation

David Isabirye is a senior staff writer for Kawowo Sports where he covers most of the major events.

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