October 31, 2010

Final Field Reflection: Uganda

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:19 pm by kampala2capetown

By Michael Zuckerman, Uganda Field Coordinator

For the 2010 World Cup program I was stationed in a slum of Kampala the capital of Uganda. The first thing I noticed as we embarked on the grassroots program was that there was plastic (they call it poly) EVERYWHERE!!!  Around the community screening site and across the city they just throw plastic on the ground not thinking anything of it – I asked a food vendor if he had a bin to take my trash and he lost it laughing was clapping and hitting his knee.  But that is the consciousness here.

With this ground reality I decided to give environmental sustainability as the theme working with our community host, the Kybando Vocational Training Center, a vocational school that is helping kids gain technical skills in the Kyebando section of Kampala. They never considered poly being something to tackle.  They burn it all or it goes on the street or in the streams. With hundreds of attendees to our live screenings of the World Cup matches within the community center we saw it was an opportunity to organize an environmental clean-up.

Between World Cup matches we mobilized a massive crowd to go around Kyebando and clean up all the plastic and trash that is everywhere.  We had over 150 people including students, community workers, local politicians, street kids, youth elders… everyone.  We gathered 30 rice sacks of trash.  Things don’t always go according to plan in Africa, but this was such a success.  When trying to talk to people about plastic it often feels like they don’t see the big deal, but today with a united force we did an amazing amount of work to clean but even more to raise consciousness.  We named the street the center is on, put in signs that say litter free zone, imagine a better future.

We were able to do so many cool things around the environmental cleanups and World Cup screenings. A local community member started making soccer balls out of plastic and giving them out to kids. What started as a small idea turned into a craze around the community with hundreds of balls being made. I also gave speeches during half time about environmental issues and later found an even more effective to feature local citizens in talks.

Through the excitement of the World Cup program and our ability in providing the community with a safe space to watch the matches empowered me to make meaningful political and media contacts. Through these high level contacts and connection to the grassroots community, the Kampala 2 Cape Town enabled powerful civic engagement. The culmination of this was the protest over an unsafe crossing space on a new road nearby the community screening site. Many lives were being lost due to a lack of road safety rules and so I was able to organize a massive protest which included me being interviewed on the most popular morning show in Uganda.

Overall the Kampala 2 Cape Town experience was special for me as an American and the Kyebando community as we both utilized the first World Cup in Africa as an entry point to engage and then ultimately change the community for the better.   The clean ups, plastic soccer balls and a crossing guard have continued since the project ended.  Additional funds to support the legecy projects of Kampala to Capetown  will show the community that progress can continue.  The crossing Guard has greatly reduced the number of deaths at the deadliest intersection in Uganda.  He required just $2.20 US and is appreciated by old and young.  Plastic Bag Balls (Buevera Balls) are continuing to be made and purchased form children for $0.40 each.

 

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July 8, 2010

Girls Life Skills Program Launch and Soccer Tournament

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:18 pm by kampala2capetown

Society Empowerment Project & Kampala 2 Cape Town (World Cup in my Village) Present:
Female Empowerment Through Football

Introduction:

I would like to introduce you to the Female Empowerment Through Football program that SEP is launching at the end of the first soccer world cup in Africa. Society Empowerment Project in conjunction with Kampala 2 Cape Town has partnered to build a network of youth soccer leagues across the African continent and beyond.

The world cup viewing screen was donated to SEP because we believe that SEP has a strong team of committed youth that believe in the power of football as an inspirational tool for sustainable grassroots development in Africa. The screen has been given to you so that you can use it after the world cup to grow and build upon this project.

We believe that the girls of Oyugis are very powerful and strong forces in this community and therefore decided to name our specific site in Kenya: Kampala 2 Cape Town Kenya: FEMALE EMPOWERMENT THROUGH FOOTBALL.

The idea behind this project is for you to become leaders in your own community to inspire girls to use football as a tool for facing the challenges experienced by women in this community, by forming clubs where girls fell free to speak their minds openly and freely and are comfortable seeking advice from one another.

Young women, you are the future leaders of Kenya. Your talent in football and team building has trained you in the necessary skills and strength in character to strengthen this community and your country at large. By inspiring young girls you not only share your leadership skills, but you inspire talent which can be used to strengthen the girls program and promote international recognition. The network that has been built by Kampala 2 Cape town throughout the world cup will be used to build international recognition of this project, which will allow for more outside resources to be brought in for the community, for economic and sustainable development. But, it is up to you girls to make this happen.

When I return to America I look forward to continually collaborating with SEP and Festus, Maurice, Dismus and Edwin. I want to hear stories of female leadership, ones that can be shared for generation of women in Africa to come, to strengthen this continent and allow for the world to see what I discovered long ago, Africa as the future; the future for peace, humanity and environmental sustainability.

I have spent three years working all over Africa and if I have learned anything it is that the power of Africa is in your hands, not only as women but as youth. Young boys, your parents and teachers can be inspired to recognize the power of girls and women at large in Oyugis…Kenya…Africa and in the world.

Thank you for sharing your time with me. My time in Oyugis has further allowed me to see the natural beauty and love in Kenya and I look forward to visiting again and seeing you all as the leading women of Africa.

I will truly miss you all.

Ero Kamano.,..Oriti for now…

Love,

Aliza (Akinyi) Waxman

July 4, 2010

Girls Soccer Tournament and Life Skills Training

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:52 am by kampala2capetown

Today, I met with SEP’s local trainers and soccer coaches to discuss the official launch of the female empowerment program. The director and I had recruited an official life skills trainer from Kisumu to visit us on Saturday morning to discuss a potential partnership for training the girls.

After we waited for an hour of him not showing, we decided to have a brainstorming session amongst ourselves about how to create this program. We called in one of the local girls, the captain of the girl’s soccer team and sat for a couple hours as we discussed many of the issues facing girls in the Oyugis community and ways to empower them to be leaders for change. Some of the issues we came up with were: teenage pregnancy, parental neglect, prostitution resulting from poverty, and most significantly lack of knowledge of their rights as women and young girls.

We decided we will hold a girls soccer tournament, life skills introduction and final world cup game celebration party on July 11th, as a closing to the world cup, but more important an introduction to the future of female empowerment through football in Kenya.

June 30, 2010

Half Time in Oyugis, Kenya

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:06 pm by kampala2capetown

Kampala 2 Cape Town Kenya has succeeded in hosting 600 viewers at a number of the viewings. They had particularly large crowds for the Ghana and Brazil games.

The project has now incorporated a half-time show, where the Society Empowerment Team discusses why the screen has been placed there; the greater K2CT network that is being built across Africa in partnership with the United States and international community. SEP has introduced the Female Empowerment Through Football component through introducing life skills and HIV/AIDS education.  The project will focus on reducing stigma associated with HIV/AIDS and methods for using football to empower girls and prevent the spread of the virus.

The viewers have responded positively to the project and Moving The Goal Posts from Kilifi has provided us with training materials for SEP’s girls life skills program.

June 29, 2010

World cup road trip to the Coast of Kenya

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:46 am by kampala2capetown

Last Thursday I headed to Kisumu to begin my world cup road show in Kenya. On Friday the director of Society Empowerment Project and I turned in a funding proposal for Kampala 2 Cape Town’s Female Empowerment Through Football program. The Rockefeller Foundation in partnership with the US Department of State put out a call for concept papers for the Empowerment of Women and Girls. The award is part of the State Department’s continuing emphasis on public-private partnerships, and is administered by its office of Global Women’s Issues.

Our Concept is to use female empowerment in Oyugis, through life skills education as part of after-school sports programs. Young girls are highly vulnerable in our community. They lack equal opportunity to education, limited access to sources of income; they perform child labor and are being raised in a polygamous society. Teenage pregnancy is also highly prevalent. And girls are vulnerable to HIV/AIDS as a result of their situation. By involving young girls in football, they attain a better realization of their rights. Specifically, in terms of gender equity. SEP’s agricultural program provides an avenue to food production and income generation, thus reducing dependency and increasing food rations. By providing educational support, the girls are empowered to become more self-reliant. This approach fits well with SEP’s already established programs, and with increased financial support, the impact on the community will be tremendous.

Over the weekend the director, Festus and I were interviewed about the project on Kisumu’s Lake Victoria radio show by Richard Oyoo. He asked us to describe aspects of the project and our belief in its sustainability. The interview was conducted in both Swahili and English. Festus and I spoke for an hour and a recording of the interview will hopefully be posted as soon as possible!

Last Sunday morning I headed from Kisumu to Nairobi to begin my world cup road show in Kenya. On Monday morning I took a bus to Mombasa, the coast of Kenya. Our bus was fully packed and I was able to take the last seat in the corner of the back of the bus. Our bus broke down four hours later in rural Makindu, due to problems with the engine. We ended up being stuck for 5 hours in this rural Muslim/ Swahili town. Luckily, the local roadside pub was playing the world cup. I watched as Chile beat Switzerland! Kampala 2 Cape Town Oyugis reported as having had 600 viewers that night! Many African teams were playing this past week, which increased our number of viewers. After the game, the whole bus sat on the side of the road under a paraffin lamp, eating maize, chewing Mirra and bonding. We spoke a lot about the project and development work in Kenya; a few of the locals expressed their belief that sustainable development can only come from within Kenya. They expressed great interest in having the project expand across Kenya as well as visiting the site over the next few weeks!

I woke up the next morning and took a Matatu from Mombasa to Kilifi town to visit Moving The Goal Posts, the other site in Kenya that received an open air cinema screen donated for the World Cup. A team from the BBC, sponsored by Google from the UK, was running this project called “Field of Dreams,” where they were holding 3 day training sessions training students in Kilifi in computer technology, their program is also focusing on empowering girls through soccer and education. In the evenings they would move the screen to a new venue in the most interior rural areas of Kilifi town. They have had over 500 people at their screenings.

Yesterday I journeyed all the way back to Oyugis. I came back in the early evening and was able to catch the last game in Oyugis Town Brazil beat Chile 3-0. …more to come from our Oyugis site!

June 27, 2010

2010 World Cup Hits Stride – Same from Kampala 2 Cape Town

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:22 am by kampala2capetown

In Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda and Zambia kids who otherwise would not have experienced the first World Cup in Africa are getting the experience on large open air cinema screens…and now its all happening simultaneously…

In Zambia – Kick Off at Lumulunga Primary School in Mongu

We were at the school at 4.30pm to start setting up. Sports in Action guys came with balls with which they engaged the kids in play with. Both boys and girls played the ball on the same ground and it was amazing to see the crowd of kids run from one goal post to the other and back again as they chased the ball. They even had two goal keepers as there were around 50 kids playing at the same time. At 6.30 when it got dark, we started screening “Sugar” a movie with HIV messages. It was a crowd puller.

The game between Ghana and Germany started at 8.30pm and went on up to 10.15pm. The whole time the game played there was silence apart from when there were attempts on goal or when there was a goal scored. The crowd was really carried away by the game. After the game, the crowd wanted more and we had to shut down everything for them to leave. They also wanted us to go back to the same venue the next day, but we informed them that we have a program we were following and so the next day we would be in Mandanga basic school.

The place was fully packed with kids and adults, the estimated number I can say is 1200 people with 60% of them being kids. The school had informed the kids of the activity the previous day and had invited them to come with their parents. The kids arrived earlier than the adults so they had the privilege of having the front area or front “seats”. Most of them sat down on the sand and you could tell they were having a great time. The coca cola advert (the one with the kid looking for freedom) was their favourite and they sang along to
the advert song every time it played.

In Uganda…

Between World Cup matches we mobilized a massive crowd to go around Kyebando and clean up all the plastic and trash that is everywhere.  We had over 150 people including students, community workers, local politicians, street kids, youth elders… everyone.  We gathered 30 rice sacks of trash.  Things don’t always go according to plan in Africa, but this was such a sucess.  When trying to talk to people about plastic it often feels like they don’t see the big deal, but today with a united force we did an amazing amount of work to clean but even more to raise consciousness.  We named the street the center is on, put in signs that say litter free zone, imagine a better future.

The plastic World Cup balls continue to be made in Uganda….

In Rwanda…

Crowds continue to swell in Gisenyi Rwanda, with kids huddling on the grass to fight off evening chills to enjoy the matches. UNICEF led a video production training for 15 young people and over their 5 day training each produced a one minute video.

Update from Kenya soon!

June 19, 2010

From the Rwandan World Cup Village – Preparing Voices of Youth for Radio

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:50 am by kampala2capetown

In the week leading up to the World Cup, UNICEF, One UN in Rwanda, and the Children’s Radio Foundation worked with the  K2CT Rwanda community host, Vision Jeunesse Nouvelle to select a cohort of 15 young people to learn how to become radio journalists who could then launch their journalist careers during the World Cup.

The trainings were set to be hosted by Vision Jeunesse Nouvelle (VN) is an ideal partner for the project; having started in 2002 and in its 8 years the organization and its facilities has become a beehive of youth activity. There is always something going on, be it a basketball game on their indoor court, an HIV/AIDS education seminar, or traditional dance troupe working on choreography.  VJN was looking to expand for a program in youth journalism and even launch community radio station, so the timing was perfect. However, before bringing in the youth to be trained at VJN, a local group of Rwandan’s were selected for a “trainer of trainers” session. A trainer of trainers session is to prepare adults in the community to assist in training youth journalists and also to be the leaders of developing youth journalism and training other youth journalists after the international trainer leaves.

(Sue Valentine, CRF Executive Director playing example radio reports for trainees)

So exactly one week before the World Cup Sue Valentine, director of the Children’s Radio Foundation arrived into the village of Gisenyi and set-out to lead 6 local Rwandans to become versed on how to give youth a voice through radio broadcasting. The training group included 3 local community radio personalities, 2 VJN Staff and on technical expert from the Rwandan Film Festival.

(Ayuub, a trainee, learning how to use the digital recorder)

Immediately the group took to Sue’s hand’s on approach to learning about radio. They listened to children’s programs that Sue had produced in South Africa and were inspired by how clear and vibrant a child’s voice can come through audio alone.  They worked with the digital recorders to learn the technology and

(Florence and Jean Claude, local radio personalities, practice the talk show format)

Sue explained the different formats the children can use, commentary, talk show format, public service announcements and then the trainees recorded samples and listened back to improve their technical skills.  At the end of the two days the trainees has a basic understanding of how to conduct the different formats and great insights into how children can be given a unique voice through radio journalism.

(The VJN Youth Journalists)

With the arrival of the 15 youth  there was an instant energizing the trainees with their enthusiasm and motivation. The youth, aged 14-20 sat attentive and literally would hang on Sue’s every word and demonstration.  “Getting to know you” exercises put everyone at ease, and by the end of the first day the youth  were expressing themselves on issues ranging from what it means to be a Rwandan to how much school prepares them for the world outside the classroom.

(Two youth journalists, practicing interviewing at a local soccer match)

By the final day of youth training, the youth journalists were ready to test out their new skills in the field. The group went to a “Football for Peace” event organized by the German Embassy in Rwanda. By the end of trainings the kids were starting to see themselves as journalists and are ready to be reporting from the field so stay tuned!

June 17, 2010

Environmental Clean-Up @ Uganda K2CT Screenings

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:25 am by kampala2capetown

I am in a slum of Kampala the captial of Uganda – there is plastic (they call it poly) EVERYWHERE!!!  They just throw it on the ground not thinking anything of it – I asked a food venor if he had a bin to take my trash and he lost it laughing was clapping and hitting his knee.  But that is the conciousness here.  I am working with a great center helping kids but they never concidered poly being something to tackle.  They burn it all or it goes on the street or in the streams.

So I am oganizing a clean up with the kids one block in front of the center.  I spoke with the slum chairman and told him that we are going to clean 1 block, install a chained metal bin and put signs up that says please no poly on the street we have a bin.  The supplies I need to get for the clean up are thick gloves because the trash is nasty, rakes to get the plastic out of the dirt and garbabge bags.  They don’t even have garbage bags!!!  It took us 5 minutes to communicate to the owner of a HARDWARE store what a large garbage bag was… that is how bad it is.  They don’t bother collecting it – they throw it on the street or burn it – no need for big bags, crazy right?

I showed the kids the gloves and they were soo excited to see somthing newly bought, they don’t even have shoes.  We will do it between the WC games on friday and feed them fruit when they are done.

We are doing so many cool things.  Making soccer balls out of plastic and giving them out to kids, I am giving speeches during half time about environmental issues.  Can’t even begin to explain my days and I have only been here for 5 days!

– Michael Zuckerman

http://mikezuckerman.posterous.com/

June 15, 2010

Female Empowerment Through Football

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:23 am by kampala2capetown

06/14/2010

As most of you may know, the official World Cup games began this past Friday June 11th beginning with South Africa vs. Mexico.

Preparing for this event came with a number of challenges. Beginning with the hiring of a “self-proclaimed faulty” technician, which became the going joke for the rest of the day. However, by Saturday evening we were broadcasting the game on our open air cinema at Kotieno Primary School.

It’s incredible how much the community has taken ownership over the project. Their commitment to get the screen up and running was remarkable. From Friday morning until Saturday evening they were working hard to get the screen going. So many complicated pieces had to be placed in exact order from connecting the satellite dish and specific wires to ensuring that our DSTV subscriber had enabled our subscription from Kisumu, which is 2 hours away.

You should have seen the crowd on Saturday night. The screen was finally working just in time for the England vs. USA match. I was standing there as they were reciting the Star Spangled Banner, observing a crowd of 200 children and adults cheering from the rural village of Oyugis, Kenya. It is moments like this when you see the fruits of community-based work that make international development such an inspiring profession. Of course there are daily challenges to the project; but ones that when overcome, allow for sustainability.  The community has jointly been working through the process, which has given them ownership over their work.

On Sunday morning Juma Festus (the director) and I traveled to Kisi, a nearby town, to purchase a tarp to cover the screen from the rain and lights to light up the field (for safety purposes) during the evening games. It is rainy season in Kenya, which has posed a number of challenges to the project. But our technical team from the community is committed to improving the project as the days carry on.

The local chief from the community has been appointed to oversee the site during the 30 days. He is a proud man of 40 with 6 beautiful children. He has taught me a lot about the Luo tribe that inhabits this area of Western Kenya.

We have a DVD recorder for recording the day games, which can then be viewed on the screen at nightfall just before we play the night game, live.

Of course there are great frustrations at times and the lack of food choices, the bugs, the dirt and extreme poverty really makes life back home seem so luxurious and tedious. People’s problems are so different.

I will be running a female empowerment session for the girl’s soccer league this week. The mission of Kampala 2 Cape Town Kenya is: “Female Empowerment Through Football,” with a vision of improving the lives of the girls in Oyugis through the post-world cup network in Africa.

Lala Salaama

Aliza

June 12, 2010

K2CT World Cup in My Village Kick Off in Rwanda

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:40 am by kampala2capetown

In Rwanda the World Cup in my Village kicked off with excitement and a local flavor. The United Nations family has reserved the football stadium in Gisenyi for all 30 days so kids from the village will be enjoying games on the the large inflatable screen every night.

The crowed arrived early and was greeted by a live band on a specially built stage thanks to local community host Vision Jeunesse Nouvelle.

Over 3,000 people showed up and were treated to traditional and modern dance, acrobats and a local band playing Rwandan and International Music.

By the time the sun set and darkness fell, a few local and UN diginataries gave opening remarks and the cheered as the France vs Uruguay game. A great start for World Cup in my Village!

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