Uganda, Kampala

Uganda Skateboard Union

The situation

Many reports about Uganda were dominated by the 20 years lasting conflict in the north of the country. The war between the Lord´s Resistance Army (LRA) and the Ugandan armed forces has been rampaging for years. Countless children were kidnapped and carried off to fight for the LRA. Since 2010 the situation in the north of the country has stabilized. However, there are pressing problems in the rest of the country as well. More than half the population of Uganda lives in poverty; almost 40 % is without work. Uganda is one of the poorest countries in the world, despite stable economic growth – partly due to the high increase in population.

Even more people are moving from rural areas to the capital Kampala in order to escape poverty. However, they are frequently faced with a life in a township, where a lack of hygiene and sanitation, as well as a comparatively high rate of HIV/AIDS, unemployment and violence determine daily life. Young people are especially affected by this situation; moreover, they constitute a large part of the total population. Almost half of the roughly 30 million inhabitants are under 15 years of age, while 70 % are under 24.

skate-aid is active in Kampala, in the township of Kitintale, where ca. 20,000 people live. Our local project partner is the Uganda Skateboard Union, a group of young people who built their own small skate part in 2006. The skate park has become a point of reference for young people in the township and the Uganda Skateboard Union has become a substitute family for many. It is not simply a question of skateboarding, it is about a stable social environment which very few children and young people know.

The project