After meeting Umar in February he had contacted our CEO with the help of Ashirafu coach in Budaka; where he expressed he wanted to train in football but he had no kit. We then went to task and asked for some help to get Umar some basic kit. The response was overwhelming!! We managed to not only raise some funds for Umar but we got more donated kit from friends of friends; neighbours; small local clubs and so on.
Umar lives with his elder sister Hadija and elder brother who has 2 children of his own. Umar’s parents now live in Mbale, a town approximately 10km away from Kibali village. Their father checks in on them once or twice a month. Otherwise the kids and grandchildren are left to their own devices. His big sister is 18 and failed her S4 so needs to re-sit next year, so she is left in charge as is her bother of the home and children.
A typical day for Umar
Each morning he wakes up at 4am, gathers with his neighbours and they all go to collect wood to burn for charcoal. His big sister is in charge for burning and making the charcoal. Umar walks 2km to school and back each day; when he returns from school he helps take some of the charcoal in the market to get some money for the family. In the holidays, other than charcoal selling Umar also helps makes bricks and which he also tries to sell at the local market.
His headmasters assessment of Umar; is that he is a quick thinker; very innovative; a good listener and willing to learn and progress in his life. He doesn’t cry about his circumstances he wants to get somewhere.
It is not uncommon for parents in the region to leave their kids and move on. The headmaster himself was subjected to this too when he was a child too and he shared that almost 40% of the kids in his school are orphans (through their parents leaving them). He has 1500 kids in his school but only 40 can afford to pay for and have lunch from school on a daily basis. The rest have to make do with whatever they can.