(KKINDU, UGANDA) Christmas 2009 was a very different Christmas than usual for the children of Kkindu in the Masaka District of Uganda. Father Christmas in the guise of Kevin Dugan and Fields of Growth brought lacrosse, laughter and much needed support to this rural community not far from the Tanzanian Highway, the notorious route used by opposition forces in the war to overthrow Idi Amin in the 1970’s. Kevin Dugan, a Notre Dame graduate and now the university’s Director of Lacrosse Operations was formerly the University of Scranton’s head men’s lacrosse coach and is the founder of Fields of Growth.
The Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) provided support for this effort. Kevin Dugan says, “I am very grateful to the Federation of International Lacrosse for their support of my latest lacrosse outreach in Uganda, East Africa. The generous supply of lacrosse sticks you shipped to Uganda made it through customs safely and are now being used in Kkindu village, a rural village in the Masaka District of central Uganda.”
Like most villages in Sub-Saharan Africa Kkindu’s population suffers terribly from the AIDS virus and Fields of Growth in conjunction with Kkindu Primary School and our Lady of Fatima parish has started an after school lacrosse program in the village whose purpose is to also infuse life skills and encourage character development through youth sports to these children, some of whom are infected with the disease.
The lacrosse clinics are run by John Kakande, who picked up his lacrosse skills from Kevin Dugan during his visits. John teaches in Kkindu primary school, is an HIV/AIDS counselor to infected children and has a background of athletic ministry. He is the president of the Our Lady of Fatima Youth Ministry with a huge heart for orphans and vulnerable children. The children, specifically young girls have enjoyed the clinics very much.