“Sports and Refugees Project” for Uganda

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The Commissioner for Physical Education and Sports Mr. Lamex Omara Apitta lauded the German Government for their exemplary accommodative Refugee policy which resonates well with Uganda’s Refugee policy


,May 5, 2017 -Mareeg-In the framework of the ‘Sports and Refugees Project (S4R)’ for Uganda, implemented by the Ministry of Education and Sports with support from the Embassy of The Federal Republic of Germany in Kampala, 3 S4R activities were conducted:
i) A S4R strategy workshop that brought together participants from government departments, development partners, district local government, non-governmental organisations, sports federations and the media working with refugee communities in education, sports, relief supplies and general settlement management. This workshop held at Nob View Hotel Kampala from 16th – 20th November 2016 provided a platform for engaging the refugee settlement community as lots of experiences were shared by participants especially those already engaging the refugees.
ii) 2 IAAF Kid’s Athletics Activator workshops were held in Adjumani (Nyumanzi Refugee Settlement (25th–27th November 2016) and Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement (29th November–1st December 2016). The workshops introduced young leaders to Kid’s Athletics (Running, Jumping and Throwing movements) so that they can organise regular physical activity for the children for sanitation, integration and mobilization of community to address issues beyond family. This workshop attracted 71 young leaders (19 females and 52 males). 16 participants were drawn from the community neighboring the refugee settlements while the rest were refugees majority of whom were from South Sudan. The workshops were facilitated by IAAF Lecturers and all participants received IAAF Kid’s Athletics Activator certificate. As young sports leaders in the community the workshop provided them with possibilities to engage in physical activities at cluster and settlement level.
iii) At the end of the workshop, Sports Festivals were held at Nyumanzi Youth Learning Centre for Adjumani (28th November 2016) and at Arnold Memorial Primary School for Kiryandongo (2nd December 2016). The festival in Adjumani attracted over 1550 children and Kiryandongo over 1650 who participated in Kid’s Athletics skills display. In total we reached to over 3200 children in both venues.
On Wednesday, 3rd May 2017, the German Embassy in Kampala through Chargé d’Affaires a.i., Ms. Petra Kochendörfer, officially handed over sports equipment to the Commissioner for Physical Education and Sports Mr. Lamex Omara Apitta and Commissioner for Refugees Mr. David Apollo Kazungu to be delivered to the two refugee settlements in Adjumani and Kiryandongo. These sports materials are provided to continue to motivate the young people in the refugee settlements to organise and participate in physical activity regularly in their respective host communities.
Chargé d’Affaires a.i., Ms. Petra Kochendörfer, expressed German Embassy’s continued support to young people to participate in sports and advised the beneficiaries to put to use the
donated equipment. She commended Uganda’s open-minded refugee policy having welcomed nearly 1.2 Million refugees by end of April 2017 and considering that children and young compose majority of this, sport as a school for life as it teaches fairness, teamwork and trust.
The Commissioner for Physical Education and Sports Mr. Lamex Omara Apitta lauded the German Government for their exemplary accommodative Refugee policy which resonates well with Uganda’s Refugee policy and has enabled sports to be used as a tool for peace building and integration of communities within and around the refugee settlements.
The Commissioner for Refugees Mr. David Apollo Kazungu commended the German Embassy for their support to the sports and refugees project which he stated has been used to bring hope to the hopeless and reduce idleness among young people and utilise their time in refugeehood to become productive and better their sports skills. The leadership structures in the settlements will be responsible of the sports materials which will cater for not only Kid’s Athletics but also football, volleyball and basketball.
The Project Coordinator Mr. Innocent Asiimwe extolled the German government for such timely engagement especially when Uganda is experiencing a huge influx of refugees fleeing conflict especially in South Sudan. The sports materials donated to the refugee settlements will go a long way in getting young people together, play and have fun and learn to make better life choices.

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Mareeg senior news editor since 2001 and he can be reached at news@mareeg.com