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National partner profile: Uganda

Girls Kick It

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Since 2006, Girls Kick It have used football to tackle inequality between young women and men and enable young girls and women to become empowered in their lives and in their community.

Northern Uganda is still recovering from a civil war, and development is hindered by the inequalities faced by women and girls. GKI engage young women through football, and once they are engaged, encourage them to learn from life and business skills programmes. Participants of GKI report increased self-esteem, desire to postpone marriage, and stronger problem-solving skills. In addition, they also run a social enterprise – a poultry farm where participants can build real-life business experience and which raises funds for the programme.

GKI’s three-pronged approach creates sustainable and meaningful impact on the lives of the young women. They begin with football (the initial attraction), which is followed by a coaches training programme, life skills training, and finally business skills training delivered by social workers, trained locals, and a peer-to-peer system.

This results in the participants’ ability to engage in locally-determined social enterprise activities. GKI’s goal is to help support a generation of empowered women to rebuild their community and nation after over two decades of civil war.

GKI offer a place where girls and young women have an active voice and role in decision-making and development. The aim is for girls and women who participate in this program to take long-term leadership roles in their community and become advocates for changing the development paradigm in northern Uganda.

The organisation works with several partners including Tackle Africa, a charity that delivers training on HIV/AIDS through football, and Price Waterhouse Coopers.

Player profiles & Stories

Mission statement

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Girls Kick It's philosophy is that sport can be a vehicle to build confidence and community, improve overall health for girls and women living in northern Uganda, and tackle gender inequality. Women are crucial to development, and empowering women will thereby also empower communities and reduce poverty for everyone.

Girls Kick It aims to be a game changer for women affected by conflict in Northern Uganda.

Goals for the future

Education

To provide training in negotiation skills and offer participants income-generating activities at all locations and in different sectors (e.g. bakery, beading, pig farming); to offer coaching lessons

Women's Programmes

To create a generation of empowered women in Northern Uganda and to decrease the percentage of child mothers and early marriages

Sustainability

To offer training in microfinance and establish more partnerships with local and international donors to create a self-sustaining programme

Additional information

Football Activities

They run up to 20 football training sessions per week, as well as a coaches training programme, and regular tournaments.

Team selection

There is a series of pre-selection and final trials for any interested participants, at the end of which the team is chosen. GKI only select a women’s team.

Non-football services

GKI have their own poultry farm, and they provide leadership development, life-skills training sessions, business skills, HIV/AIDS education, and micro-finance training.

Participants challenges

Key challenges are war trauma, sexual and gender-based violence (including domestic violence), HIV/AIDS, health and nutrition, raising children, peace-building, early marriage and pregnancy, and gender inequality.

Organisation challenges

Transportation of participants and social workers between different locations is expensive and time-consuming.

Country challenges

More than 56% of Ugandan population is under the age of 18, which makes children and youth particularly vulnerable to homelessness (Human Rights Watch, 2014).
Although the country is now relatively stable, many people still suffer the trauma of having been abducted as children by the Lord’s Resistance Army during the country’s brutal civil war (BBC, 2015).

Homlessness definition

Homeless people are individuals who do not have any form of formal shelter over their heads, those sleeping on verandas, abandoned or partially demolished structures. They also include beggars, vagrants, street children, and people who spend the night at bus parks, on the streets, or similar places (IPUMS International, 2002).

Homelessness Statistics

Homelessness has been growing steadily in urban areas since the 1980s. In 2000, an estimated 3% of the urban population was homeless (United Nations, 2000).
According to the 2014 Census provisional results, about half a million people counted had no household, which includes those living in hotels, institutions, and homeless or floating population.

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