Many girls and young women in Uganda often find themselves in vulnerable positions leading them to make choices that put them at a disadvantage for the rest of their lives. We at Rugby Tackling Life (RTL) recognise that there are many ways to empower young girls and women and we have chosen Rugby as our platform to reach out to this population in Uganda.
RTL is a Ugandan NGO that is run, managed and strategised by our Ugandan team. It is a Ugandan organisation for Ugandans because we believe that a change in society only comes from within. The other team members from the USA and Germany form a support network to promote the work that RTL does. Rugby is only one facet of RTL – we run Life Skills Education programmes that integrate with our rugby programmes because we have found that the values that Rugby teaches can be carried on into the daily lives of our players. Our Life Skills programmes are geared towards empowering young girls and women to make informed decisions regarding their health and life. This is to address key issues such as adoption of safer health behaviours, staying in school, relationships, teenage pregnancy, STIs etc. RTL also addresses the often unrealistic expectations placed on male teenagers and their interactions with their peers – both male and female. Including boys and young men in the Life Skills Education programme ensures that both the female and male stakeholders work side by side to reduce the vulnerabilities and risks that teenagers in Uganda face.
Emilly Lekuru is 19 years old and the best female Rugby player in Uganda. She was born and raised in Jinja and prior to 2014, she had never travelled to the capital city (Kampala). Through Rugby Emilly was able to travel to Kampala and out of Uganda for Rugby tournaments. With the support of RTL and our network Emilly completed secondary school last year, plays Rugby for Uganda and is currently in New Zealand for a 3-month placement on the International Rugby Programme (IRP) at St Bedes College, Christchurch. After her return Emilly will be working with us at Rugby Tackling Life, pursuing her Rugby career, as well as, starting her university education at Makerere University.
Flavia Agenorwot is a 21-year-old Rugby player from Kitgum who was supported by RTL and our network to complete her O level education and is currently being supported to do a tailoring course. Like Emilly, prior to 2014, Flavia had never travelled to Kampala. She now regularly travels to Kampala for Rugby events and has also represented Uganda in international tournaments held outside Uganda. Flavia is also a World Rugby level 1 coach and coaches both boys and girls in Kitgum. Aside from coaching, Flavia also holds Life Skills sessions with the players and gives them guidance.
Both Flavia and Emilly are role models who are inspiring both girls and boys in their respective communities to reach for the stars. Flavia and Emilly are just 2 of the success stories from RTLs programmes.
You want to know how you can get involved? Have a look at our website, write to us (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are a coach, Rugby player, social worker etc. and would love to share your knowledge and learn from us in Uganda, too. On our website you will also read about COOFFEEE and Fabulous Uganda. Those are two businesses that donate a share of their profits to the NGO Rugby Tackling Life in Uganda. Read on on our website.