Uganda’s ‘Watoto Wasoka’ shortlisted for FIFA Diversity Award 2019

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Watoto Wasoka, a local charity based in the heart of Kampala’s biggest slums, is one of three finalists of the FIFA Diversity Award 2019. COURTESY: The Watoto Wasoka Foundation

‘Watoto Wasoka’ a community-based project in the Ugandan capital Kampala is one of the finalists shortlisted for the FIFA Diversity Award 2019.

The project, founded 10 years ago, uses football to reduce the number of street children in Kampala’s slums by helping get them into local schools.

The project also sensitizes the community to the situation of street children and children living in informal settlements.

There are two other finalists: Fútbol Más Foundation and PlayOnside.  Fútbol Más, founded in 2008, is a non-profit organization which operates in Chile, Ecuador, France, Haiti, Kenya, Mexico, Paraguay and Peru. It uses football as a tool for resilience development and youth and community empowerment.

The third finalist, PlayOnside uses football as a tool to promote social inclusion among migrants and refugees, and challenges gender-based stereotypes on the border of Thailand and Myanmar. It was founded in 2013.

“We are proud to have such inspiring finalists to share their best practice and commitment in this area, and are delighted to support, honor and highlight the incredible work they are doing,” FIFA’s Head of Sustainability & Diversity Federico Addiechi said.

The winner of the 2019 award will be announced on September 22.

The 2018 award went to the Horn of Africa Development Initiative in Kenya which supports adolescent girls in breaking the silence on issues that affect them through a network of peers. The peers share information on life skills and create a safe space for girls to learn from each other and to play football.

The FIFA Diversity Award is a recognition of an outstanding organization, group initiative or personality that is standing up for diversity and anti-discrimination in football.

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