Empowering Girls Through Sports

From August 2 -12, U.S. Embassy Kampala hosted two sports envoys, Jeneba Tarmoh and Kenyanna Wilson, as part of the Department of State’s SportsUnited Program.

Jeneba and Kenyanna participated in three girls-focused athletics camps in Arua, Kampala, and Kapchorwa. During the camps, the sports envoys talked to over 230 rural girls and local athletes about the role of sports in empowering girls.

Working with local athletes and the Tartan Burner Athletics Club, the envoys shared their own personal stories with the rural girls and encouraged girls to stay in school and avoid teenage pregnancy. Local athletes talked to the girls about how to avoid sexual harassment and shared practical tips on self-defense.

“If I could have one girl, out of the hundreds of girls we’ve talked to over the past couple of weeks, in five years say ,”Hey, when I was 16 years, some girls from the U.S….” If I could move something inside them, that’s worth it. She’ll be able to inspire the next one and the next one…..,” Kenyanna Wilson, NCAA Track & Field champion and #SportsEnvoyUG2017, talks about what this girl-focused U.S. Department of State Global Sports Mentoring Program means to her.

Empowering women and girls is one of U.S. Embassy Kampala’s top priorities. Women struggle to find a voice in society. Sports diplomacy helps by offering rural girls the opportunity to build their self-esteem.