Children of Africa
What is it like to be a child, growing up and living in Africa?
Life is simply harsh for children there. Especially if you are a child born in one of the worst slums of Kampala, Uganda, like Katwe, where families live in utmost poverty. There is little for children, their education, clothing, shoes, housing, food…
Children play ball with plastic bottles. There are no toys to play with, no dolls for girls, no books to read. And then there are a lot of daily chores for them, from cleaning, washing clothes, taking care of the younger children, cooking — many things that children in the West would not be made to do.
A child growing up here – has no future and no hope – unless there is a miraculous intervention…
At age 11, Phiona Mutesi had a lot of strikes against her; barely literate, she lived in Katwe. To be from Katwe is to be an underdog in Uganda.
Then a slum dweller taught her to play chess.
Phiona recalls what first drew her to the game. “When I first saw chess, I thought, What could make all these kids so silent? Then I watched them play the game and get happy and excited, and I wanted a chance to be that happy.”
She first won the Uganda women’s junior championship in 2007, when she was 11. She won that title three years in a row. She is still so early in her learning curve. Chess experts believe her potential is staggering.
Phiona’s dream is to perfect the game and become a grandmaster to help her family out. So they can have a better life.
Children of Africa need a chance.
Read more about Phiona:
1. Queen of Katwe (sportsoutreach.net)
2. Game of her life (sports.espn.go.com)
3. Ugandan girl, Phiona Mutesi leads chess revolution from the slums (guardian.co.uk)Follow @chessContact