February 12, 2024 – The intersection of sports and education has a unique potential to foster holistic development and empower individuals beyond the realm of physical prowess. While athletic ability is undoubtedly valuable, incorporating it with training in Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Business, and Conflict Resolution can be a transformative initiative to create pathways to skills and knowledge.

From the end of October to December 2023, WPDI ran such an initiative in the Karamoja Sub-Region, Uganda, benefitting 168 individuals, in the framework of our Peace Through Sports program, supported by the Swedish Postcode Foundation.

This multifaceted approach not only equips practitioners, male and female, with essential life skills but also addresses broader socio-economic and peacebuilding needs of the community. By merging athletic excellence with technological proficiency, entrepreneurial acumen, and conflict resolution skills, the beneficiaries in the Karamoja Sub-Region can become catalysts for positive change, contributing to overall progress and resilience of their community and beyond.

WPDI started by forming 8 teams in the Moroto district, specifically in the sub-counties of Katikekile, Rupa, Loputuk, and Nadunget. The procurement of sports equipment and uniforms increased the attachment of the participants to the program and boosted the general morale, which, in turn, enhanced the effectiveness of these sessions and friendly matches. The teams were composed of a total of 144 individuals, evenly split between 72 females and 72 males from the four sub-counties. These teams participated in weekly sports training sessions, accompanied by sessions in Business and Conflict Resolution, run by WPDI Youth Peacemakers. 

Moreover, WPDI initiated an ICT skills course at our Moroto Community Learning Center. This course engaged 24 community members, including 14 males and 10 females aged 18-39, representing seven sub-counties in the district. The ICT program, conducted twice a week, covered basic and intermediate levels, contributing to the development of participants’ technological skills.

With regards to Business and Entrepreneurship, team players and coaches attended business skills training sessions. The primary goal was to foster an entrepreneurial mindset, empowering participants with self-sufficiency. This course, conducted at basic and intermediate levels over the course of three weeks, provided participants with the knowledge to identify and understand various businesses within their community.

Longole Isaac, one participant from Lia village, Katikekile Sub-County, was happy to be given the opportunity to learn skills that will help him develop his business: “Taking the Business & Entrepreneurship course has changed me and helped me learn lots of things like record keeping, business idea generation, customer care and how to come up with better prices. These skills will help in my running business as a self-employed person.” 

The integration of ICT, Business & Entrepreneurship and Conflict Resolution training into the Peace Through Sports program embodies a long-term strategy with far-reaching objectives. Beyond the athletic arena, this holistic approach empowers individuals to navigate the complexities of the modern world, fostering adaptability, innovation, and resilience. By investing in a comprehensive skill set, these athletes can emerge not only as ambassadors of fair play and positive values but also as agents of positive change, driving economic growth and contributing to sustainable peace in the community.

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