Kabugo said the campaign had just started and thanked all academies that have supported the initiative in different ways.
What started as a simple project to help the disadvantaged and homeless youth in one of the suburbs of Kampala (Kisenyi) has over the year turned out to be one of the main channels of producing football stars for the country.
It is for that reason that the Kampala Junior Team (KJT) that has existed for the last 16 years is not about to relent on what has not only helped many earn a living but transformed others into useful members of society.
On Saturday, KJT launched a fundraising drive at the StarTimes Stadium to ensure they raise up to a billion shillings to be able to move into their own home and continue rehabilitating homeless youth and disadvantaged children through the game of football.
KCCA FC was the first to heed their call with sh1m cash offer while DStv and GOtv assisted in the logistics of the fundraiser.
Despite the low turn up of fans five matches by the different academy teams against former KJT foreign-based players, parents and fans were played on the day to launch the drive with an ‘All-Stars’ team and KJT Kampala Region Division 3 team tussling it out in the last match of the day.
The All-Stars team included players like former Cranes striker Yunus Ssentamu, former KCCA FC striker Emma Magembe, Onduparaka’s Fred Agandu, Nicholas Kabonge (SC Villa), Methodius Jjungu and Ronald Nkonge (Bright Stars), and a number of foreign-based players like Andrew Serugo, Latif Kalyowa, Joel Ssonko among others.
According to KJT director Mansoor Kabugo, several challenges that include a lack of training pitch and accommodation for some of their children forced them into the fundraiser.
“We have different challenges and we lack a permanent training pitch. We have reached different milestones like producing players that have gone on to play for different teams and the national team but we still have other challenges,” Kabugo said.
“We are only disappointed that FUFA the custodians of football did not come for this launch to offer either moral of financial support. We had actually booked this venue earlier but gave way for CECAFA upon their request, so we were expecting them here to offer parental guidance on the way forward,” Kabugo noted.
He said the campaign had just started and thanked all academies that have supported the initiative in different ways.
The administrators' team before the fundraiser match against the parents.
“We have already identified land in three locations and all we need is money to effect payment for one of them,” Kabugo noted.
KJT has over 400 players in their academy located in Katwe and has produced a galaxy of players for the Cranes including Farouk Miya, Shaban Mohamed, Yasim Mugume, Paul Willa, Moses Waiswa, Keziron Kizito, Martin Kizza, Fred Agandu, Yayo Lutimba, and Shafik Kagimu among others.