Friday 25 October 2019, 09:32

Soccer Without Borders overcoming barriers in Uganda

  • Soccer Without Borders has been active in Uganda since 2008

  • It is an NGO which helps young migrants

  • 40 per cent of those taking part in the programmes are girls

Soccer Without Borders is a non-governmental organisation founded in 2006 to help refugees and migrants around the world to use football as a means of education and development for young people.

The NGO is well established in the USA and also has a presence in various areas around the world where populations are forced to take refuge. Uganda, where Soccer Without Borders has been present since 2008, is one example.

In the space of a decade, thousands of young people between the ages of five and 23 from Uganda and neighbouring countries have benefited from the programmes run by the association, which provides an opportunity for education, expression and an exchange, all based around football.

As well as helping young people in tough situations to flourish, the aim of the organisation is to play an active role in dealing with social problems, as well as facilitating integration into Ugandan society and access to the world of work.

In a world where fewer than 10 per cent of football players are female, Soccer Without Borders is particularly targeting women and obtaining spectacular results, most notably in terms of school performance and personal development. In Uganda, over 40 per cent of participants in the NGO’s programmes are girls.

Both locals and refugees come together to take part in football tournaments, festivals and events which serve to strengthen links in the community. Learning English, which is the official language of the country, is an integral part of the exchanges and the teaching that is made available, in addition of course to the universal language of football.