Original Post: 10/28/2009
October 28th, 2009.
Coaches across Continents has selected New Hope Orphange in Busia Town, Uganda as a new partner for 2010. This unique challenge is to help New Hope Orphanage further engage with the local community by using health and life skills education through soccer.
“We would like Coaches across Continents to help New Hope establish a soccer education program that would be open to the entire community. We would use the program to educate children on HIV/AIDS, the importance of staying in school, leadership skills and other topics.” Chris Higgins, New Hope Orphange.
New Hope assists orphaned and vulnerable children in two categories: resident and non-resident. The resident children live on the grounds of New Hope and sleep in two of our secondary school’s classrooms. Except for a brief period during the Christmas holiday when most of the children return to their home villages, we are the sole caregivers for the resident children and provide them with all their food, educational support, clothing and healthcare. The non-resident children live with relatives in Busia Town Council and receive a limited amount of food, educational support, clothing and healthcare services from us. These non-resident children come to New Hope at least once a week to play with the other children, participate in life skills training and keep us updated on their situation at home. In addition to providing the basic necessities for the 71 children under our care, we offer them much needed emotional support. So many of our children have suffered through the trauma of losing their parents or living in extreme poverty. We seek to alleviate this by providing a safe, loving environment where our children are free to be kids again.
The life of a Ugandan orphan is scarred by a degree of cruelty and neglect beyond the comprehension of most western observers. After watching both their parents waste away slowly from AIDS, the child is almost always left without an able, and many times not even a loving, caregiver. Siblings are invariably separated. Some are sent to grandparents, others to aunts, uncles and cousins. Generally speaking, the more distant the relative, the higher the degree of neglect. Orphans are treated as outsiders and given last priority in everything from distributing food at dinner to medical and school fees. If a foster family’s financial situation worsens, the orphans are the first forced onto the street. With nowhere to go, girl orphans are often forced into prostitution or an early marriage. Boys join the swelling ranks of the street kids—homeless children who congregate in gangs, dig through garbage for food, sleep on store verandahs and subject themselves to all sorts of labor and even sexual exploitation.
“We are excited to be part of this dynamic organization and look forward to developing an educational strategy that engages the whole community. Our coaches will spend up to 12 weeks educating local volunteers and teachers on our curriculum and establishing a soccer for social development program. Chris, Kelli and Sophie have shown incredible dedication and enthusiasm for the New Hope program and we are delighted to partner with them from 2010.” Nick Gates, Global Strategist, Coaches across Continents.