Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Holiday Tournament: Pool (06.12.2010)

So today was the start of our bi-annual holiday tournament. There are six different events that we put on for the community: pool, table tennis, mewso (a traditional African board game), netball, volleyball and football. The first four will be played in December before we break for Holiday and the last two will be played in January. Now the goal of the Holiday Tournament games is not just to give the youth of Kayunga a safe, competitive and fun environment during their holiday break from school, but to also educate them on issues surrounding HIV/AIDs. Each tournament day there is a different message that is brought across to the youth: lessening HIV/AIDS stigma, discordance, male medical circumcision, drug adherence and the ABC’s (abstinence, being faithful and circumcision) are shared every tournament day. Through the messages about HIV/AIDS we hope to empower youth to make smart decisions in their life regarding their health and mental well being along with having an extremely fun time playing sports.

Monday was our pool tournament and we had a great turn out – 22 participants from the Kayunga area came to play in the tournament. Before starting the games my counterpart Josh talked with them about the stigma of HIV/AIDS in the community and how to protect your-self against acquiring HIV. After his discussion the participants watched a video on HIV: The Silent Epidemic which from what I could tell was a highly informational video – it was all in Luganda so I could only pick pieces here and there, but I had one of my staff help me understand. After the video Josh answered questions and the tournament began.

The games were the best of three and by the end of the day (or night because we didn’t finish till 7:30pm/8:00pm) a winner was crowned.

One of the Youth Center staff won the first prize: their very own pool cue kit and a MUWRP Champion t-shirt. Over all it seemed to be a wonderful experience for the youth and hopefully I will see most of their faces back here during Holiday.

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