In a country of very few resources and services, sports clubs and facilities are almost non-existent. JENGA coaches and supports multiple football teams involved in local leagues on a regular basis. From facilitating training and conferences to providing football kits, balls and other sporting equipment, JENGA is creating an avenue to invest in the young men and women of Mbale.
Through engaging players in a physical and practical way, our coaches are able to not only model good sporting behaviour on the pitch, but also healthy relationships, a strong work ethic and quality Christian values off it as well.
The success of this project has meant select players have been scouted and received full scholarships to some of the country’s top schools, and a large number of players have been selected to represent the East of Uganda in national games.
*The teams were self-named after a donation of ‘Sky Sports’ branded football kit and balls from ‘Sky’, one of the UK’s biggest TV providers.
On a weekly basis, JENGA staff and volunteers spend time at the largest ‘remand’ youth prison of Eastern Uganda to reach and connect with the male and female youth imprisoned there. Young people in these prisons have not been sentenced in court but are awaiting a trial date after an arrest or accusation. It is not uncommon for this to take months or even years – time served for a crime that they haven’t been proven guilty of and may have not committed.
JENGA is the only organisation to have gained government permission to step in and meet the needs of this often unreached group, encouraging and discipling in a prison where the possibility of outside visitation is unpredictable and often challenging.
Through engaging conversation with caring friends, biblical teaching, and access to many material needs such as soap and food, youth in the remand prison are treated with respect and dignity at a time when even their most basic rights have been stripped.
Pioneer Children's Club
JENGA has been running successful Children’s Clubs since 2005, but a need for continued investment in Mbale’s youth quickly became apparent. Pioneer Children’s Club was designed to reach community members who are too old for children’s activities and too young for the adult-specific ministries.
Tailored to fit the adolescent needs of the community, this programme is focussed on the problems and concerns of a typical teenager. The programme is predominantly education based, with relevant guidance and counselling covering topics such as health, hygiene, morals, sex, healthy relationships and positive life choices. Having a safe forum to express desires and feelings and to receive educated, informed guidance is critical for full, future lives – JENGA’s Pioneer Club provides that space.
With more than half of Uganda’s population under the age of 16, JENGA knows that investing in young people has never been more important. In order to truly make a positive and sustainable impact in Uganda, it is essential to reach out to young people – the future leaders of this nation.
Carefully selected young men and women, who have been identified as potential leaders in their churches, schools and neighbourhoods, are enrolled in a structured discipleship programme. Through training and intentional mentoring, these young people are equipped with the necessary knowledge, skills and inspiration to make a positive change to bring transformation to all spheres of society.