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2 April Apr 2019 1407 02 April 2019

#Goal4Uganda. Soccer in the slum of Kireka

In Uganda Italian soccer champions take the field to teach resilience to 350 boys and girls

Goal4uganda

The initiative includes renovating a school field and teaching "Italian soccer" to 350 boys and girls in Kireka, one of the poorest neighborhoods in Kampala. Implemented by AVSI, the project develops an educational model that promotes soccer as a tool for social inclusion and positive socialization.

For Rebecca Apio, having the chance to train with a former Italian soccer player who was part of the team that won the 2006 FIFA World Cup, is a dream coming true. Rebecca is a student at Luigi Giussani High School in Kireka, one of the poorest neighborhoods in Kampala and is sponsored by AVSI through the Distant Support Program. She is among the 350 boys and girls who are participating in the #Goal4Uganda project. Implemented by AVSI in partnership with the Italian Soccer player’s Association (AIC) and the Association CDO (Compagnia delle Opere) Sport, the project develops an educational model that promotes soccer as a tool for social inclusion and positive socialization.

“Goal4Uganda has been a great chance for me as soccer has always been part of my life,” celebrates Rebecca, who, until last year, wasn't attending school because her parents couldn’t afford it. “Here, at Luigi Giussani High School, I rediscovered my value and I feel I'm now the protagonist of my life. When we are on the field, we are all committed to a common challenge, with no differences of languages, origins, or economic situation... Together we've learned a lot, but above all we have had fun. Soccer is an exciting game and I would like to play more.

The project kicked off on April 1st, when soccer players Damiano Tommasi, who went to the 2002 FIFA World Cup, and Simone Perrotta, who was a member of the team that won the 2006 FIFA World Cup, alongside AIC’s staff, began training 350 students aged 13 to 17 years old from the Luigi Giussani High School. The school was built in 2005 thanks to the tenacity of a group of women who survived violence and created The Meeting Point International. Today, the school is an educational center of excellence in the heart of the Kireka slum where students and teachers can experience quality education and personal growth.

The project #Goal4Uganda is carried out at the Luigi Giussani High School which becomes a focal point for education in the quarters of Acholi and Kamuli.

In one year boys, girls and teachers will be involved in three training sessions with Italian coaches in Kireka and two Skype sessions halfway through the project, when the students will continue their education with the coaches. The trainings will be followed by two sports events where the school's teams will play together with other students, involving more people in the initiative. Alongside the activities, all the sports infrastructures of the school have been renovated.

Activities of the project

The project #Goal4Uganda is carried out at the Luigi Giussani High School which is a focal point for education in the quarters of Acholi and Kamuli. For the next 12 months, boys, girls and teachers will be involved in three training sessions with Italian coaches in Kireka. There will also be two Skype sessions halfway through the project so the students can continue their training​ with the coaches. Practices will be followed by two sports events where the school's teams will play with other students, involving more people in the initiative. Alongside the activities, all sports infrastructures of the school have been renovated, including the Luigi Giussani High School main soccer field.

This project responds to the Sustainable Development Goals #3, 4 and 5 as it enhances quality education and personal growth through sports. Not only does this project promote an educational model in which soccer is a tool for social inclusion, but it also tackles the thematic of gender equality and healthy lives, addressing the well-being of both boys and girls.

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