The Uganites are a group of 10 young leaders from our member, Hackney Quest, who fundraised £27,000 to fly to Uganda and deliver tag rugby coaching to local children and upskill the existing staff out there as part of a development programme with London Youth and the Tag Rugby Trust
Back in October 2016 London Youth teamed up with member Hackney Quest to offer young people the opportunity to volunteer in Uganda with the Tag Rugby Trust for 2 weeks. This was the second trip of its kind, as Hackney Quest had previously participated in a successful volunteering trip to Zambia back in 2012.
Before flying out, the 10 Uganites completed a 12-month Young Leaders’ Development Programme to help them prepare and fundraise for their trip of a lifetime. The programme included training sessions and activities to build their confidence in delivering tag rugby sessions and as young leaders. As part of their Young Leader’s Development Programme the team fundraised £27,000 through cake sales, basket shaking, a 5k run and pitching to Law firms and funders such as the Jack Petchey Foundation. Each young leader was awarded £200 from the Jack Petchey Foundation, after completing a successful dragon’s den style pitch on why the trip to Uganda was important to them.
First stop in Uganda for the group was Jinga, a small town in the south of the country. The group got to enjoy some R&R before kicking off their tag rugby classes. The tag rugby classes were delivered to young people from local schools, who had no experience of playing tag rugby before so this was definitely a fun challenge. After the classes were complete it was time for the local kids to take part in a tournament to show off their new tag rugby skills! The Uganites had a great time exploring Jinga and sharing their love of tag rugby with the local kids.
After a week in Jinga the group departed for Kampala the capital of Uganda to coach young people at Kids of Africa, a local orphanage. The Uganites stayed at the orphanage for the duration of their time in Kampala and quickly became part of the Kids of Africa family, sharing meal times and playing games with the kids during their free time. The second week concluded with a big tag rugby tournament!
At the end of the trip all the tag rugby equipment was given to the orphanage and workers at Kids of Africa were upskilled in tag rugby themselves, to ensure that the sports sessions continued even after the Uganites had returned back to the UK.
Commenting on the impact of the trip on the young leaders from Hackney Quest, Janita Halsey, Youth Manager at Hackney Quest said: “I was really amazed at how quickly the young people became confident young leaders (during the trip). This trip developed their confidence, maturity and broadened their horizons to help them grow as people”.