UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin witnessed first-hand how sport helps improve the lives of vulnerable youth when he visited one of Uganda’s largest slums this week.
While living in the capital, Kampala, Aleksandr Schiffrin traveled to the Akoli Quarters, home to some 20,000 people, where the Sports for Resilience and Empowerment Project (SREP) is building sports facilities, training coaches and creating social and economic opportunities. children and 850 caregivers.
The project is run by the non-governmental Aliguma Foundation, which receives funding from the UEFA Children’s Foundation.
“Football is probably the most powerful thing in the world. It’s not just about elite competitions, it can also be a force for good.”
Aleksander Ceferin, President of UEFA
“Football is probably the most powerful thing in the world,” said Aleksander Shifrin, visibly moved by the warmth of his welcome and his conversations with local schoolchildren and community leaders.
“It is not just a competition for the elite, it can also be a force for good,” added the UEFA president, after witnessing an exhibition football match played on a makeshift football pitch in Akoli. “We must use it for good and working with the Aliguma Foundation is one way to do that.”
Ritah Aliguma Ritah Aliguma, Founder and CEO, Aliguma Foundation
“It wasn’t just a visit. It was a game-changer. Walking through one of the biggest slums in Kampala, the UEFA president gave hope to the many homeless. We can dream again knowing that anything is possible.”
Aleksander Ceferin’s visit and words of support underscore UEFA’s commitment to using football’s popularity and influence as a force for good. Since its creation in 2015, the UEFA Foundation has supported more than 400 projects worldwide, by donating equipment and awarding grants, all with the aim of helping the world’s poorest and most vulnerable children or regions affected by crises.
The UEFA president was traveling to the African continent for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic, on his way to attend the FIFA 73 Congress in Kigali, Rwanda.
Aliguma Foundation and the SREP Project
Founded by Ritah Aliguma in 2017, the Aliguma Foundation aims to use football to improve the lives of young people in slum communities. The initiative enables beneficiaries to build a better life for themselves and their families by providing access to education, basic healthcare and football training for children.
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