Monday, May 21, 2012

Netball Courts and Supporting Girls

So, to take a break from the normal me telling you stories format of this blog, I’m going to do something I really don’t like doing… asking for donations.

At St. Jude’s, another volunteer very generously paid for the installation of two goals for the soccer field. This is absolutely wonderful, and you can tell that the kids take great pride in having a soccer field with real goals. They play soccer every time they have a break—from tea break to lunchtime to after school, there are always kids on the field. Before the school had real soccer balls, they would play with locally made balls from plastic bags and banana fibres (these balls are NOT soft… I am amazed at how they would just kick them with no worries… but then again I am also constantly amazed at how they run over sharp rocks and gravel barefoot, too).

The only problem with this beautiful picture? The only kids who are playing are boys.

Now women, I will say and defend this point forever, are the backbone of Africa. Or at least Uganda, if I can’t make such a big generalization. They spend their days fetching water in incredibly heavy “gerry cans,” cooking, cleaning, making sure that their kids are going to school, making sure that enough money is put aside to pay the kids’ school fees, ensuring that the kids are clean and well behaved, will go and buy the food from the market, and will even take up jobs to earn an income for their families. Yes, the men are important too, and this generalization is obviously not true for the entire society, but for the most part? Women are HIGHLY underrepresented and under appreciated. They are given very few rights in this culture, and are often shunted to the side and ignored, whether that be in a literal way where they are pushed to the kitchen whenever any guests come to visit, are forced to be serving, are not greeted by men if they are with another man, are not allowed at the table with guests, have to kneel when greeting men, any of the above and many more. Men incredibly rarely are the ones to serve food. Aside from in the seminary where there aren’t any women TO serve, I’ve only seen a man serving the food once. Women are told that if they eat chicken or pig, their children will be born with various parts of that animals anatomy on their bodies. Long story short… they are not given much respect or dignity in this culture.

Soccer is a man’s sport in Uganda. This is a fact which it is not my particular place or calling or even within my ability to change.

The women’s sport is a game called netball. This is a mixture of basketball and handball, as far as I can tell. The girls love to play it at recess, if they get a ball to play with.

I was asked if I would try and raise funds to support the girls of St. Jude’s Holy Cross Primary School, Buwekula, Uganda by building a netball court. All in all, the court will cost around 120 dollars. This is a pretty small price of anything, considering. So, if you would be willing to contribute ANY money to building this court, I would really appreciate it. If even just a few people donated just a little money, we could reach this goal.

Now I’m entirely aware that this is a time when people have really little money anyways, and I know how annoying it can be to be asked for money, so please don’t feel pressured in any way to donate. Thank you so much for reading this post, and let me know at if you would be willing at all to donate something small. I will let you know of an easy and entirely safe way to get the money to me. Thank you so much.


  1. Goodness, I played rec soccer for ten years. I had no idea about the position of women in Uganda. I have a ton of questions. When was it decided that soccer was a man's sport? (Oh wait, I could probably research that myself.) Can little girls be close friends with little boys? What jobs around the house are considered a "man's job"? Do any men know how to cook? Are chicken & pork considered valuable and therefore too good for women? Are there any husbands who challenge the norm?

    Most importantly: Has it always been like this? Are there any hopeful signs of change?

    Anyway, I'm happy to give a little. You're asking for a small sum of money, at least to Americans, so your project should be up in no time!

  2. thanks for opening our eyes, Anna, and appreciating
    how good we have it by comparison! and so grateful
    to those who are helping! mom