Red Ball Drop Day 2, Bukomero and Kiboga
The drive from Kampala to Bukomero was just around 2 hours and Bukomero to Kiboga is another 40 minutes. Thanks to our friend Martin, we visited the soccer fields that appear along the highway that takes you throughout this District.
To view photos from Red Ball Drop Day # 2 view here
In Bukomero and Kiboga Gomo Tong Football Club encouraged the various communities, teams and organizations to continue using the soccer ball as a tool for change. Not to just play soccer, or any game for that matter, but to find new ways of learning, exploring, training and earning a little income. At a local Primary School, the administration uses soccer to bring the community together to teach life-skills and host tournaments to raise a little bit of money for text-books, or to purchase a goat to award to the winning team.
Red Ball Drop Destination #6 – Bukomero Field #1
We arrived to our first stop of the day and the young men were sitting under the shade of the trees. A few were scattered about on the football pitch, kicking a beat up white soccer ball, in their teal school uniforms. The smiles emerged and the young men eagerly engaged Joseph Ochitti (Homeless World Cup Copenhagen 2007) in the conversation about the power of practicing and training.
At this first field in Bukomero, we distributed 2 Special Edition Kevin Carroll Katalyst Red Soccer balls and 2 Molten Soccer Balls to a group of 30 young men.
Red Ball Drop Destination #7 – Bukomero Field # 2
About 12 feet up a hill from the highway, this soccer pitch was home to the group of local youth that call themselves the Farmers Club. The field was surrounded by the mountains and a large mango tree shaded the goal at the south-end of the pitch. The young men were dribbling about, and they had some of the most impressive juggling skills we’ve seen so far on the Ball Drop in Uganda.
At this field, we distributed 3 Molten Soccer Balls to a group of 12 young men.
Red Ball Drop Destination #8, 9, 10 and 11 - Bukomero Field # 3
This soccer field was on the site of a Primary School that enrolls more than 250 children. In front of the school is a huge soccer field that is also shaded by a mango tree. In fact, just about every step you walk, you’ll find mango peels or mangos that have fallen and been stepped on by footballers. In addition, you’ll find mangos on the bare feet of some of the youth.
We organized 4 separate distributions at Bukomero Field # 3. We distributed 2 Special Edition Kevin Carroll Katalyst Red Soccer balls and 5 Molten Soccer Balls to a group of 35 young men. We then distributed 3 Special Edition Kevin Carroll Katalyst Red Soccer balls to a group of young boys attending the Primary School. We then distributed 3 Special Edition Kevin Carroll Katalyst Red Soccer balls to a group of 20 girls attending the Primary School. Finally, we provided 1 Red Ball to a group of mothers and school administrators.
Red Ball Drop Destination #12 and 13 – Kiboga Field #1
We arrived to another Primary School, and the bright yellow uniforms of the children rushed to the vehicle as we arrived. The school headmaster greeted us and explained that there are 348 children attending the school. He then introduced us to some of the youth playing at the soccer pitch, but that were not in Primary School. Ochitti organized a brief training for them where the team lined up and practiced dribbling between each of the players as you would through cones.
We distributed 2 Molten Soccer Balls to this group of 7 young men. We then distributed 3 Special Edition Kevin Carroll Katalyst Red Soccer Balls and 4 Molten Soccer Balls to this group of 60 young children.
Red Ball Drop Destination #14 and 15 - Kiboga Field # 2
Our second to last destination point of the day before heading back to Kampala, was at smaller soccer pitch with one soccer goal and more than 40 youth and children playing. A number of kids had created balls out of various trash bag type materials and were juggling and throwing these balls about. At the same small field, a group of youth had organized and discussed their team, their goals and ideas for using sport in the community.
We distributed 4 Special Edition Kevin Carroll Katalyst Red Soccer balls and 1 Molten Soccer Balls to a group of 10 young men. In addition, we distributed 2 Kevin Carroll Katalyst Red Soccer Balls to a group of street children living near the area who often play at the same field as the youth.
Red Ball Drop Distribution # 16 - Bukomero
At our final stop of the day, we provided 5 Special Edition Kevin Carroll Katalyst Red Soccer Balls and 5 Molten Balls to the World Vision District Offices. GYPA works closely with World Vision on projects in Bukomero and Kiboga that includes health education, treatment and capacity training for youth. These balls will be used as part of the our health education outreach efforts that bring Israeli physicians to the District. These programs reach hundreds of people living in communities throughout the District.
Overall, the total number of Balls distributed today was 40. We estimate that the total number of people who these balls will reach is 800.
On Friday, we’ll continue the Red Ball Drop in a few locations in and around Kampala. We anticipate to reach Jinja (which is about 1 hour East of Kampala), Mengo (which is about 20 minutes outside of Kampala), and a team is headed to Gulu located in Northern Uganda (5 hours from Kampala) within the coming week.