Humanities - Make a difference

3rd February 2012 at 00:00
Unicef Day for Change is raising money for children in Uganda

With its rolling savannahs and picturesque mountains, Karamoja is a beautiful - if troubled - sub-region of northeast Uganda. But its relative isolation and small population have meant deprivation for many children, particularly girls, who seldom go to school and traditionally get married at 18.

Unicef has been working with British schools on its annual Day for Change for more than 20 years. And this year's campaign, which launches today, will fund Unicef's Sport for Development programmes in Uganda to engage vulnerable children, build their confidence and skills and give them a sense of teamwork.

The charity has worked with the Sports for Life in Karamoja (SLIK) project since 2007 and has already succeeded in giving many young people a much brighter future. For Catherine, 16, from a remote village in Karamoja, it has meant an entirely new life. She began running to fetch water as a child with her sisters; now athletics and Unicef have given her a different future.

"My father thought it was important for me to go to school, even though I was a girl," Catherine says. But it was when Catherine was 11, and won a 5,000-metre athletics race, that her life began to change. Her local primary school in Moroto District, Karamoja, had been supported by Unicef and she was made a youth ambassador for SLIK.

Now she has won a scholarship at a better school in Luwero District, in the centre of Uganda, where her talent for running and her schooling are well supported.

"In the future I want to be a nurse, to help people in my community when they are sick," Catherine says. "Now other people in my community are thinking about sending their girls to school."

Unicef is asking schools to take part in Day for Change. Schools can register and download a free resource pack at

What else?

Visit Unicef's profile on TES Resources for lesson plans, resources and registration details.

Watch children from Mali, supported by Unicef, document their lives with the help of photographer Giacomo Pirozzi.

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