Onside Soccer Uganda is by far our largest project and has had a significant impact since it's formation in 2012. Under the expert guidance of Project Director Moses Kalanzi and his team, it has grown from a small holiday football club in Kampala to now working in three locations (Kampala, Mpigi and Anaka) with hundreds of children and young people attending training sessions each week.
Apart from weekly football sessions the project also hosts regular tournaments, football camps and will shortly be entering a team into the national Ugandan league. Our work in Anaka is based in a refugee camp for those fleeing civil conflict in northern Uganda as well as those escaping violence in southern Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. A large number of our players are former child soldiers and we have established a counseling service to help them adjust back into normal society.
Why work in Uganda?
Our project in Uganda was one of our first overseas projects. We wanted to work in Uganda for a number of reasons. specifically because it was a country with large numbers of young people playing football already, it was a stable place to work, we already had strong connections there and we also knew that there were already great community coaches there who could benefot from some additional support.
How did you get the project started?
Initially we took a small team of coaches from the U.K. to Kampala to run a football summer camp. During that time we spoke with numerous grassroots coaches and identified those who were of a high standard and who wanted to work with us. Our focus is always on long term projects so we organised weekly training sessions to carry on after we left the country, led by local coaches. This ran successfully and the project developed and grew from that point.
How do you currently support the project?
At the moment we employ a Country Director and part time coaching staff across all of our projects. We supply equipment as required and we also provide training, with our Coach Education Team visiting Kampala in 2017 and 2018 to help raise the standard pf coaching and to train additional coaches. We also provide online training opportunities for our coaches. Our project in Uganda has excellent staff and a visionary Director in Moses, so is able to operate to a very high level independently. While we provide support from the U.K. when needed this is very much a locally operated project.