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30 June Jun 2021 1200 30 June 2021

Sport, a tool applied to revive aspirations in young people

The story of how netball places more than a smile on a disabled Congolese woman’s face

GameConnect4

Imagine the strength you would need to keep your hopes alive even when your circumstances make it more difficult. This is the story of 21-year-old Habamungu Kahunda, a Congolese refugee living in one of Uganda’s Kampala slums. Habamungu lost her ability to walk early in her childhood after suffering paralysis from a strong fever; and the experience faced by many disabled children did not spare her – she suffered stigmatization in her neighborhood.

I used to stay indoors the whole day because children laughed at me when I crawled; but since I fell in love with netball I am always looking forward to my coach’s visit because this gives me the chance to speak with her about my daily experiences and I also exercise to keep healthy and to have fun.

Habamungu

Habamungu joined the Game Connect project and her coach, Viola visits her at home twice every week. In their engagements Viola offers her counselling and inspires her to keep using sport to keep her body active. The opportunity given to Habamungu is made possible by the Game Connect project, funded by the Olympic Refuge Foundation and implemented in a consortium including AVSI Foundation, Uganda Olympic Committee, UNHCR, Right To Play and Youth Sport Uganda. Game Connect targets 10,000 youth, both refugee and those living in the host communities. The program will run for 36 months, ending July 2023.

Habamungu is happier and her hope to become a professional chef has resurrected knowing anything is possible if you believe.

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