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UNHCR aids Acholi Quarters pitch upgrade

By Michael Ns

Added 14th July 2020 08:02 AM

The Aliguma Foundation annually organises a slums soccer tournament at the Acholi Quarters

UNHCR aids Acholi Quarters pitch upgrade

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Ambassador Joel Boutroue (left) hands over some of the equipment to Rita Aliguma at the commission’s offices. Photo by Michael Nsubuga

The Aliguma Foundation annually organises a slums soccer tournament at the Acholi Quarters

The Acholi Quarters community has seen a transformation in football following the Aliguma foundation partnership with them over the past three years.

Under the partnership, a number of pupils in the community have won themselves scholarships following Slum Soccer tournaments organised by the foundation. They have also gotten football equipment including jerseys, boots and balls among other life necessities.

They will now enjoy a better playing surface on their uneven pitch after the Aliguma Foundation received an assortment of tools to help in upgrading the playing surface.

The association founder Rita Aliguma on Monday received the tools from the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) representative Joel Boutroue at their offices in Kololo. The items included pixels, shovels, pangas, sickles, pitchfork, spade, shovel, hoes, forks, nets, and footballs.

Action from the last Slum Soccer tournament at the Acholi Quarters in January. Photo by Michael Nsubuga

The tools will not only be used in upgrading and levelling their pitch but also in their agricultural project that they intend to start at their new home in Masindi.

"We came in to support the Acholi quarters through the Aliguma foundation towards the upgrade of their football pitch, because when I last visited and watched the Slum Soccer tournament, I was impressed with the level of enthusiasm from the players and the community, but I was also touched by the condition of the pitch," Boutroue said.

"So I thought I could help so that they have a decent pitch because at the end of the day the Acholi quarters shelters a lot of internally displaced persons, and I deal with such persons; so it is like solidarity to me," Boutroue stated.

On her part, Aliguma was elated saying: "We are very grateful for the tools from UNHCR. They are not only going to be useful in upgrading the pitch which is mostly soggy and lacks drainage but also in our Agricultural project in Masindi," Aliguma noted.

"During this COVID-19 era, we realized that it was important to have our own gardens that can sustain our people so that we can survive beyond the handouts. We will be able to invest in Agriculture and it is good we have gotten some tools that help us in this endeavour; but also for food security and avoidance of starvation in our community," Aliguma promised.

She said the foundation plans to establish a football pitch in Masindi before the end of the year where the community can play football.

"We are going to work with the community in upgrading the Acholi Quarters pitch because it is important for them to get involved.

"We identified 7 acres of land in Masindi where we are going to have our empowerment and skills center but we need to clear the land and we still have a balance of sh30m, so we appeal to the community and the public to come to our rescue because we are spending a lot of money on the education of the children under the foundation," Aliguma noted.

The Aliguma Foundation annually organises a slums soccer tournament at the Acholi Quarters for children in the slums from which the top talents get scholarships in primary schools and other institutions of learning.

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