Sponsors needed to help give children of genocide a sporting chance
Tue 12 Dec 2017 - posted by MK College
Students from Milton Keynes College are looking for corporate sponsors to help transform the lives of children from one of the most war-ravaged countries on Earth through sport.
A group of students has recently returned from Uganda after bringing PE and sports lessons to children who have never had the opportunity to undertake any kind of positive physical activity. The College’s Sports Development Manager, Caroline Moran, says,
“It’s so easy to underestimate the value of sport and physical activity in child development. This isn’t just a question of going halfway round the world for a kickabout. These children have no basic physical literacy. They’ve never played in a physical way and their teachers don’t understand the importance of physicality in that development process. Many of the children have witnessed and experienced terrible things and have resulting health and behavioural problems. The school had challenges with absenteeism. When our students brought them structured physical activity those numbers plummeted and behaviour drastically improved.”
The students were visiting a school and nursery run by the LightForce International Charity in Lira in Northern Uganda. Before their visit even the teachers at the school were sceptical about the value of physical education but they’re now making it a key element of the curriculum. The students faced a number of challenges not least the lack of resources on the ground or a shared language. LightForce International is based at the Christian Centre in Milton Keynes. It has been working with disadvantaged people around the world since the 1980s.
One of the students, Zach Manuel, says, “Because the children in LightForce School have never really played proper sports it was going to be a hard task. Uganda itself is quite different compared to England in terms of what they have and what we have but let’s just say it was incomparable. Teaching was hard.”
Caroline Moran says, “Possibly the biggest lesson learnt on the trip was how much there is to do. That’s why we want to make subsequent visits bigger and better, taking more students and more sports equipment for the children in Lira. The only way we’re going to be able to do that is if we get some significant business support. We’d love to hear from people at any companies who believe in education as a way to improve the world and who might be able to help us make such an incredible difference to children’s lives. And it’s important to remember we’re talking about children here. They didn’t ask to be born in a time and place which disadvantaged them so severely. They might just as well be your children or mine, they just haven’t been so lucky.”