Due to the war in northern Uganda and difficult family circumstances Shabella was mostly left on her own and lacking care when she was a child. Becoming a Young Coach gave her the powerful impulse to build a community of peer coaches that share the passion for football to support abandoned and deprived children.

My Story

“My father died when I was still young. So, I grew up in a home of a single mother during war times in northern Uganda. I was abandoned, had no one around and missed love so much. I stopped school early because of finance.

As a child, I only played games with balls, football was my passion. But there were no good footballers to train me. Only when I was grown up, foreigners came to train kids and I became one of the first female coaches. Soon they left again due to the war. In 2012, when the FCSA and Scort came to Uganda to give training to Young Coaches my dream became true. I was too old to be a player, but I felt so good, loved and proud to be with this team and to become a good coach. This really encouraged me to use my talent and passion for the game to create games and activities and gather many loving friends around me.

I have little time beside my work as a facilitator and an SOS mother taking care of abandoned children from 0 to 15 years. So, I decided to cooperate with women in the community and colleagues at work who I trained to be coaches. Today we do training sessions for more than 150 children and youth in SOS children’s Village and in the communities and schools around. On top, we have formed PECE United Football Club, a community Club. There we use football and health education to nurture the talents of children, even the street children. When we finish the pitch work, we sit down and talk about health, sanitation, how they can live good and avoid diseases, infections, HIV, hepatitis B, and malaria. There is so much health problem in northern Uganda. And we invite the mothers when we talk. They join and learn at the same time as their children. Sport and football has become so important to us all.

I am so motivated. At my age and as a Ugandan woman, I am not supposed to play football. But I do and I am becoming new and fresh and full of energy every day by providing games and many messages to the children and the community.”

Quick Facts
  • Young Coach Education in Uganda (2012/2013) & Follow-up Education (2017)
  • SOS Children’s Village Gulu
  • Ugandan
  • 3 Peer Young Coaches
  • 150 Benefitting Children