Many teenagers, especially girls, often find themselves in vulnerable positions leading them to make choices that put them at a disadvantage for the rest of their lives. RTL uses rugby as a platform to reach out to Ugandan girls and boys in various districts. RTL strives to educate players on issues such as sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR) and menstruation hygiene management (MHM), and encourages both girls and boys to complete their education and access academic and vocational study opportunities. Life Skills Education is a key part of the RTL programme which is geared towards empowering girls to make informed decisions regarding their health and life so as to address key issues such as academic and vocational education, adoption of safer health behaviours, menstruation, general hygiene, relationships, teenage pregnancy, STIs, alcohol and drug abuse etc. It also addresses the often unrealistic expectations placed on male teenagers and their interactions with their male and female peers. Including boys in our programmes ensures that both the female and male stakeholders work side by side to reduce the vulnerabilities and risks that teenagers in Uganda face.
Playing rugby has many benefits – increased physical fitness due to the nature of the sport and being a physical contact team sport player develop confidence in themselves, high levels of discipline and learn to work closely together with others to drive the team to succeed. All these attributes can be applied to life off the pitch. Playing rugby also offers opportunities for many teenagers to travel outside of their districts and sometimes out of Uganda thus learn about other cultures and enrich their non academic education.
Together, we can create a more equal world where everyone can live in dignity and free from poverty.