Courts for Kids - Uganda
Organized by: Rebecca Renfro
Hello everyone! I have been selected as a volunteer to go to Uganda to build a basketball court for the local orphans. But, unlike the Katrina Rebuild Project for which I volunteered in 2001, the trip costs are not sponsored by my employer so I would need to raise the funds to attend on my own. In fact, I need to raise a whopping $3500 in order to pay the expenses required. The expenses include airfare, meals, accommodation, contributions for the building materials and ground transportation while in Uganda. Here is the information about the project from Court for Kids, the sponsoring organization. More information about the organization can be found at www.courtsforkids.org: "The court will be built in Kamengo, Uganda which is located about 50km south-west of Kampala, Uganda, and is situated in the Mpigi district of Uganda. Kamengo is a community with a population of an estimated 7,000 adults and approximately 3,200 children. HIV prevalence rates are estimated at 4%. The community is predominantly rural with a majority of adults being peasant farmers. Women are mostly responsible for the crops produced for consumption. Strong differences in gender roles are widely felt throughout the community with women unable to fully assert their rights. As a result of the ravages of HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis, there are many orphans and vulnerable children in the area and a high child-to- adult ratio. The Agnes Zabali Boys and Girls Club was initiated in 2007 as a community based organization to address health and education needs in Kamengo and the organization is guided by a local committee made up of youth volunteers including community members that local farmers, teachers, students, business people, parents and other concerned individuals. The group started as an HIV/AIDS support group, but now works together on a number of projects including income generating activities, educational, health awareness and youth development programs. Many local children do not have an area to play and a large number of children play at our current community center, a nearby grass court and open field on top of a nearby hill. The need for a safe and large area is great and our current basketball cannot handle the daily traffic. This new court will benefit the 155 orphans and vulnerable children that are registered in our program and the entire community of Kamengo, along with a number of nearby schools that often use our current court and other visiting teams from other cities in Uganda. The court will also benefit other organizations that visit this community for outreach programs i.e. Big Bang Ballers and African Ball and Community Development (AbaCoDe). The court will open and used daily by all youth and interested community members. The court will mainly be built and used for basketball and volleyball games but soccer, floor hockey and badminton will also be played. The court will also serve as a gathering for meetings, eating, dancing, an area for youth to use washing their clothes, and hosting many international volunteers throughout the year who use the court for community gathering to discuss health, education and community needs." How fantastic, right? Your donations are tax-deductible and 100% of the funds raised will go directly to the project. Unfortunately, I couldn't find a charity fundraising site that allowed for donations to be returned if the goal wasn't met. I thought that would be the best option but it was not available for charitable giving. BUT any donations made whether or not I reach my goal and will go directly to the organization to fund this and other programs. On a personal note, my beloved grandmother who passed last year did charity work in Kenya and Ethiopia as an RN when I was a child. She worked in a polio hospital and helped the sick children there. I was fascinated with the letters and stories she'd send me and I always dreamed that one day I, too, would be able to go to Africa and help the children there in some way. This would be a beautiful way to honor her memory and fulfill this dream! Any amount you could donate would be greatly appreciated. I am going to contact various organizations and businesses to see if they have any grants for this type of thing. If you know of any, please let me know! I know this was a long read and if you made it this far THANK YOU! If you could, please share this link and let's get me to Uganda to help those kids get a basketball court!