African Children and Families Support (ACAFS), based in Gulu in the northern region of Uganda, was founded in 2005. The organisation was established to promote, protect and preserve the health and welfare of local children and families, especially those affected by HIV / AIDS and drug / alcohol abuse.
After two decades of armed conflict, Northern Uganda was left with a complex humanitarian situation, marked by violence, the collapse of the education system, poverty and the internal displacement of more than 1.6 million people. The conflict in northern Uganda is considered to be one of the worst humanitarian disasters in the world.
ACAFS recognised that sport can be a valuable tool for tackling poverty and injustice. As well as capitalising on the short-term opportunities to increase participation, have fun, develop sport skills and engage in activities to improve physical and emotional well being, ACAFS believes that sport can be used as part of their wider development programmes. This is supported by the concept of 'protective factors' that reduce the engagement in harmful or anti-social behaviour, including: close contact with a caring adult, opportunities for group interaction, providing a ‘safe space’ to spend time in a positive way and valuing achievement.
Hence the ACAFS Sport for Change Project has been launched. The project will encompass sports-related workshops, educational sessions, coaching sessions, work experience, volunteering and mentoring. A key factor to the success of the project will be the recruitment of staff, coaches and volunteers who will act as relevant and positive role models, with the necessary range of skills to not only deliver quality sporting activity, but also to respond to the emotional and health needs of participants.
Support through Sport UK has been able to provide support with the project's Monitoring and Evaluating framework, and has sent over sports kit - however ACAFS could benefit from further UK support, be it sending over more sports kit, providing coaching advice etc. Therefore, please contact us if you would like to help ACAFS.
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