Dream Building: A Story of Change at HONECRIC
For many people, going to school may seem quite normal, however for many children around the world getting a secondary education is a privilege: Our Dream Building project HONECRIC enables participants to hope and strive for more.
This is the case for Atugonza Julian. She is 15 years old, she attended the Kitana Primary School, where she did her 'Primary Leaving Examinations' in 2019 and passed in division 2. But her parents were not able to finance her secondary education...
Interview with Atugonza Julian
- How long have you participated in the programme?
"I'm participating this table tennis programme since 2017. So, for 3 years now."
- Before participating in the programme, what challenges were you facing?
"Before I started playing table tennis, I had never discovered my sports talent and potentials, including having no focus."
- Why did you join the programme?
"I wanted to enjoy the fun in it and participate in competitions for my school."
- How has the programme affected or changed your life?
"My participation has helped me to gain more skills and most importantly, paved a way for me to join a good secondary school in Mbale, although I had lost all hope for a secondary education. I had to repeat a class in primary school I've already passed well, because my parents couldn't afford to send me to a secondary school. Through this scholarship, I have gained friends, travelled within and outside Hoima to play for my school, I have discovered that I can play table tennis and was awarded the 'champion in life' title at Mbale High School. I never dreamt about this!
- How does this make you feel?
"I’m happy to be identified as a potential good player, for the opportunity itself and to study in a good school."
- Would your life have been different if you did not join? How?
"I don’t think my life would be fine, in the first place, my results in the 'Primary Leaving Examinations' were retained at school due to my parents not having completed the school development funds! So, I was confused not knowing whether I had passed or not. Joining this programme helped me to console myself and empathize with other children. It was even more an advantage to participate the holiday clinic through which I was identified by the coach - meaning, had I not attended the holiday clinic, I wouldn’t have been selected for this opportunity."
The ITTF Foundation supports the Hoima Network of Child Rights Clubs (HONECRIC), on a project based in Hoima, a rural area in western Uganda with the aim to: reduce early school dropout rates and encourage the inclusion of children with and without disabilities. The table tennis programme is active in 9 primary schools and 3 secondary schools, reaching 250 children and youth per week - including Atugonza Julian.