Mifumi, Sure Start

Location: Tororo, Uganda
Combat sport: Karate
Focus areas: Youth Leadership, Gender training, Education support and Child Rights Advocacy
Target Group: Children in school with special emphasis on girls.
Established: 2008
Joined the FFP Alumni: 2011
Contact: Janet Otte
Website: www.mifumi.org

Sure Start works within community schools, using karate and an approach to develop life skills to improve the status of girls, improve their completion rates, and improve gender relations in the communities in which they live.

Through the participation in Karate and gender training, girls gain confidence which is necessary to resist unwanted pressures that lead to forced early marriage, HIV infection and eventually helps them to stay longer in school. In addition, it challenges negative gender stereotypes about women and girls leading to greater independence for them in the community.

Sure Start is a space where girls are the direct beneficiaries with Karate as a sport that is unique and special to them, however, with a view to build healthy relationships among the children and to enable the boys understand gender issues, boy’s participation is allowed under girl’s leadership.

Our understanding is that many girls who participate in Karate will act as role models for other girls leading to a change in self-image. As such, we encourage young people in the clubs to take on leadership roles as assistant karate instructors in the schools.

Training takes place within school grounds during school term time where club members can receive support and encouragement. Sure Start also plays an active role in encouraging the participation of members in important events, which include the 16 days of activism, day of the African Child, Women’s day, and World AIDS day.