Friday, June 17, 2005


The Kids League Foundation is an independent UK charity that focuses on what Americans call "Soccer" and the rest of the entire world calls "Football!"

The Kids League Foundation says that it "uses sport and sports related activities to bring diverse communities together to promote health, education and life skills with individuals and organisations in the UK, Africa and elsewhere and through the creation of youth leaders and ambassadors, we work to educate and inform the global citizens of tomorrow,"

That quite a mouthful, but these guys "put their money where there mouth is" raising funds to organize youth football teams and leagues in Uganda.

"It is an organisation formed out of the experience and needs of the work in Uganda but seeks to work bilaterally to meet its mission." States the Kids League Foundation web site.

The Kids League's efforts in Gulu started in June of 2004 with funding provided by UNICEF, Stanbic Bank and MTN - the leading Telecommunications Company in Uganda (to be honest, I had to look MTN up in Google).

Kids League Gulu has 6 Junior and 6 Senior Football Teams as well as 4 Senior Girls Netball Teams that compete in a regular league. In addition to this they are running leagues in 4 Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) Camps in northern Uganda.

In Gulu, where there are approximately 20,000 children who come to the town centers at night to sleep with out fear of being abducted by the Lords Resistance Army, The Kids League says they have finally given the kids something "to smile about."

Because of the success of TKL Gulu, the United Nations arm for the welfare of children, - UNICEF - has requested that TKL start up a league in Kitgum District as well. Again, with the help of UNICEF and Stanbic Bank, TKL Kitgum is launching in 2005, with Football and Netball leagues in Kitgum Town.

Also in 2005 TKL will launch a league in Arua. Funds for this league will be coming from UPHOLD, which is a USAID funded effort and Stanbic Bank will support the effort in Arua as commercial sponsor. The Arua project, which will also be sponsored by Celtel and General Machinery will take on an educational focus by raising awareness about HIV/AIDS and encouraging children to attend school and become role models in their communities.

There will be 3 footballs league in Arua with school outreach programs as well to encourage children to be active, while concentrating on their studies.

The Kids League hopes to have 36 districts in Uganda participating in the Leagues programs within 10 years; and is planning to have all 56 districts engaged eventually.

TKL says that hopefully its model from Kampala Kids League, which is a fully sustainable voluntary organization, will be reproduced in all districts.

TKL says thast the benefits of the kids league are:

"Through sport, tribal, religious and socio-economic differences disappear and PEACE BUILDING occurs naturally."

Because sport has the power of mobilizing communities in order to help deliver health and education messages to children, friends and family, TKL is more than sports.

TKL has already successfully partnered with the World Health Organization in 7 districts in Uganda to immunize children from measles. It also intends to spread the word on:
Youth Friendly AIDS Education
Universal Primary Education
Encourage Birth Registration
Rights of the Child (Human Rights)
Conflict Resolution / Peace Building

They are even requesting that other organizations like yours can give them input on messages you would like to spread.

The Kids League provides children with an opportunity to PLAY and have fun, after living through years of war and violent conflict

Because The Kids League depends on parents and community members to volunteer their time, "(p)arents and children often report that the time they spend together on the field has long-lasting effects off the field. Parent-child dialogue opens up and parents start to take an interest in the extra-curricular activities of their children."

The Kids League says that it "invests heavily in developing local talent and ensuring that there are trained coaches and referees who are specially trained to cater to the needs of the child athlete."

With its emphasis on COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION, TKL believes that because it relies heavily on local District volunteers who bring a wealth of diversity and experience to the league, it is helping to bring a communities together for a common goal and also provides an opportunity for people to learn about the various organizations and schools in their communities.

Travel to TKL's web site at

and learn a lot more about what this great organization is doing, and who knows, maybe even we Yanks can learn to call it "FOOTBALL! "

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