Watoto Wasoka claims 2023 Sport Impact Award for Best Sports and Health Initiative
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Watoto Wasoka
During an awards ceremony in Senegal, the Watoto Wasoka Association was awarded the 2023 Sport Impact Award for its project “Building Resilience through Football”, which uses sport to promote the mental well-being of young people living in the slums of Kampala, Uganda.

The list of 2023 Sport Impact Awards winners has been released. On the theme of Sport and Development in Africa, a total of 11 projects and initiatives were rewarded at the Sea Plaza cinema in Dakar during the Sport Impact Summit. Among them was the Watoto Wasoka project, which operates in the field of sports for health. The initiative offers young people a platform for exchange, sharing experience and good practices in mental health. In total, 1,253 people (43% of whom were women) were able to benefit from support in terms of mental health and wellbeing. At the same time, a manual was developed on mental health education through the practice of football. Finally, around sixty community supports have been trained in education and mental health.

The project draws on the power of sport and the experience of Watoto Wasoka to mobilize, educate and empower slum children through football. The organisation sprang up during, COVID-19, a time with harmful consequences on the vulnerable populations of the slums of Kampala. Poor mental health is caused due to loss of routine, confinements and school closures, stress and depression, and is often linked to the anxiety of a sometimes poorly understood global epidemic. It is on the basis of this observation that the NGO launched its “Building Resilience through Football” project to help children by using sport as a factor of resilience and psychosocial wellbeing around four main axes:

  • Supporting the physical and mental well-being of 1,250 boys and girls through access to sports education and mental health
  • Increase access to education by supporting 250 boys and girls with various scholarships and academic support
  • Strengthen social cohesion and solidarity among young people through enriching social values such as respect and fair play, friendship and sportsmanship, inclusion and equality
  • Promote gender equality by mobilizing and empowering 625 girls to participate in project activities and football leagues


About Watoto Wasoka

Founded in 2009, Watoto Wasoka is a youth-led development football organization in Uganda. They use football as a vehicle for social change in the lives of slum children in Uganda and seek to change lives, through structured football oprograms, one game at a time. They do this by creating play and learning opportunities, in a safe environment, for children in the slums of Uganda.

They also organize some of the biggest youth football events in Uganda, East Africa (even Africa). The last Slums Derby attracted over 1,500 children, while the last Christmas Camp was attended by over 2,700 boys and girls from all over Uganda. Watoto Wasoka are famous for football made in slums!

Photo credit: Watoto Wasoka


French-speaking consultant


Football (Soccer)
Sustainable Development Goals
4 – Quality education
Target Group

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