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    Bringing young people together through sports

    Day 73

    Off the Bench

    It’s no secret that sports have the power to bring people together. From international events like the Olympics to pickup football games in the backyard, sports help people find common ground – and sometimes meaning and purpose. This is especially true for young people in Oruchinga Refugee Settlement.

    “It’s a way for us to be together with nationals and refugees,” said Cubaka, the president of the Youth Center. “Sometimes you can form friendships.”

    Young refugees at the Youth Center organize a lot of sports activities – soccer, netball, volleyball and more. But they’re constantly coming up against one problem – the demand for sports is higher than they have the resources to support.

    For Day 73, we’re doing something about it.

    We went to a local sports shop in Mbarara, the closest big town, and practically bought out the place. Soccer balls, volleyballs, netball equipment, badminton, soccer goals, jump ropes, you name it!

    Now, the Youth Center won’t only have more of the equipment they wanted, they’ll have a diverse number of sports to choose from. It’s a way to recruit even more young people to the club, but also to build peace and friendships among members.

    “Sometimes, people have judgements about you – if you’re a Congolese, Rwandese, Burundian – people come with ideas about what that means,” said Cubaka. “But if I interact with that person while playing sports or a game, you come to realize that they’re a good person. With sports, we’re getting to know each other.”

    “It’s youth building peace.”

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    Changemakers 365

    by Alight


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