DROTY Uganda executive director Arnold Ssesaazi takes a selfie during the 2023 Kyotera women's health run | Credit: David Isabirye


The 2023 Kyotera women health run was held on Wednesday, March 8 to commemorate the international women’s day, like just the norm has been since inception in 2018.

It has been history in the making as the 6th edition of the annual Kyotera women health run hit a record 8300 number of participants.

The 2023 run was held on Wednesday, March 8 to commemorate the International women’s day, like just the norm has been since inception in 2018.

The usual start and finishing point for this run was the Kasambya playground, adjacent the Kasambya primary school premises and a number of residences.

Runners during the 2023 Kyotera Women Health Run | Credit: David Isabirye

The theme for this year’s run was “Better life outcomes start with a good education! MAKE IT HAPPEN FOR RURAL YOUTH” with the chief guest as Joselyn Ekochu (Executive Director) at Centre for Women in Governance (CEWIGO).

“I am excited to be in Kyotera for the first time in my life. I am a child of the community and that is why I give such community causes a lot of attention. Let us support the activities of DROTY for the work undertaken is very crucial to keep the girl child in school and complete education” Ekochu who donated UGX. 1,000,000 remarked.

Chief guest Joselyn Ekochu with Kyotera District Education officer Mathias Kigowe

At least 8300 participants, mostly school children from the primary and secondary schools in Kyotera, Rakai and Mutukula took part in the run.

These were joined by the local residents and a couple of invited guests under the close supervision of the Uganda Athletics Federation (UAF) for the very first time.

Lawrence Kavuma, Uganda Athletics Federation (UAF) Vice president (wearing a yellow cap) with one of the students at Kasambya playground | Credit: David Isabirye

This run was started in 2018 by DROTY, a youth led Non-profit organization established in 2016 by Arnold Sessazi in commemoration of the international women’s day.

DROTY was started to empower underprivileged rural young people between ages 10 -24 years in Kyotera and Rakai districts situated in the south-western Uganda.

We seek to use this as an advocacy platform to amplify voices and call on education leaders, Civil Society Organizations, the government and other key partners to take action to support the rural girl’s right to Education within a friendly environment. It is important to remember the specific needs and risks to the girls whose dignity and access to the safety and opportunity of an education are being pushed aside by taboos, misconceptions, and lack of proper training and materials to manage menstruation.

Arnold Ssesazi, Executive Director DROTY Uganda
Runners past the DROTY offices in Kyotera | Credit: David Isabirye
Runners pass by a bicycle rider with Matooke bunches on a steep terrain | Credit: David Isabirye

The participants came from various schools as Kasambya primary school, St Mary’s Mayanja primary school, Homeland college Kyotera, Nakatogo primary school, St Michael Buyinji primary school, St Joseph Technical school – Kiteredde, St James S.S Kyotera, Kyotera Township primary school, Divine primary school, St Francis Nalubira primary school, Kiteredde Vocational primary school, Kyotera Infant, St Stephen High school Kyotera, Kyotera central, Sacred Heart, St Mark S.S.S, Ndolo primary school, St Imelda, St Ritah Dynamic primary school, among others.

A brass band, various schools’ choirs, musician Maurice Hassa (of the Kaleke Kasome fame) and other upcoming artists entertained the participants and other guests.

A brass band performs at the 2023 Kyotera Women Health run | Credit: David Isabirye
St Mary’s Mayanja Primary school pupils perform a Kiganda traditional folk dance | Credit: David Isabirye
Maurice Hassa entertained the crowds moments before the official prize giving ceremony at the 2023 Kyotera women health run | Credit: David Isabirye
Demonstration to make reusable pads | Credit: David Isabirye

There was cancer of the cervix screening, training of making and using reusable sanitary pads, counseling and guidance sessions from the Uganda Alcohol Policy Alliance (UAPA) among other organizations.

Top performers:

In the run proper, Santos Odongo of Homeland College emerged as the overall winner over 10 KM.

Lillian Naama was outstanding female runner.

For the primary schools; Elvis Kalema (St Mary’s Mayanja) and Lillian Naaama (St Mary’s Mayanja) were the top.

Rewarding of male winners at Kyotera women Health run 2023 | Credit: David Isabirye
Rewarding of female top three_Kyotera women health run 2023 | Credit: David Isabirye

The top three per category received medals and certificates.

There were also rewards for the exceptional individual performers and schools.

For starters, the inaugural edition had only 400 participants in 2018.

Runners at Marian Chapel Kiteredde_Kyotera Women Health Run 2023
A young girl and boy in action_2023 Kyotera Health Run
Runners negotiate the corner to Biikira

A number of partners as SAALT, Food Circle, NTV, Spark TV, Kyotera Local Government, BBS Telefaina, Crown Beverages Limited under Nivana water brand, Kalisizo local authorities, Uganda Alcohol Policy Alliance (UAPA), the different schools and other groups joined hands to make the event a complete success.

An air borne runner at the 2023 Kyotera women’s health run | Credit David Isabirye

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

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