Humanities - Make a difference

10th February 2012 at 00:00

With its rolling savannahs and picturesque mountains, Karamoja is a beautiful - if troubled - sub-region of north-east 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, writes Viki Walden.

Unicef has worked with British schools on its annual Day for Change for more than 20 years. And this year's campaign, launched last week, will fund its 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 when she was 11 and won a 5,000-metre athletics race, her life changed.

Her local primary school in Moroto District, Karamoja, had been supported by Unicef and she was made a youth ambassador for SILK. Now she has won a scholarship at a better school in Luwero community, in the centre of Uganda, where her talent for running and her schooling are well supported.

What else?

Unicef is asking schools to take part in Day for Change. To register and download a free resource pack, go to www.dayforchange.org.uk. Visit Unicef's profile on TES Resources for lesson plans, resources and registration details.

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