SMART GIRL CHESS PROJECT, TRAINER’S REPORT
19TH NOVEMBER 2013
In an effort to empower girls socially using Chess in communities affected by Kony war in the Northern part of Uganda, FIDE Social Action Commission (SAC) in liaison with Uganda Chess Federation (UCF) through Sports Outreach ministry conducted a teachers’ Residential Chess training in Gulu town.
The training was attended by 15 identified teachers from the village communities where the projects are to run. The training was facilitated by three members; Robert Katende, who serves both as the General secretary FIDE Social Action Commission and Director Development UCF, Robinah Namwanje, the Vice President UCF and WCM Ivy Amoko who is currently the highly rated lady player in Uganda. WCM Phiona Mutesi missed out on facilitating the training because she had exams to attend at her School otherwise; she is the campaigner for the project.
This noble “Smart Girl Project’ program was engineered and created by IM Beatriz Marinello who is the Chairperson of the Social Action Commission (SAC). Beatriz is currently working with United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women “UN Women” to develop similar programs across the world.
The training was regularly attended because it was residential and it was running from 8:00am to 9:00pm with three break intervals daily.
The teachers were very excited on being given the opportunity to learn and be able to teach Chess and some of them had never heard of chess until the time they were approached to attend the training.
The training started on Wednesday 13th November and ran up to Saturday 16th November when; the trainees sat for and exam from what had been taught.
The training was mainly dominated by ladies because we look at empowering girls mainly. It is a common phenomenon that girls in this region are given out for marriage at a very young age of about 14 years. And in most cases they have no choice because it is an arrangement between the families and other times the girls are just taken advantage of and they end up becoming young mothers without a man taking responsibility. We actually had two teachers who attended the training with their breast feeding and when I asked about the fathers, one of them could not tell who the father for her kid was!
We conducted eight theoretical sessions and the rest of the time was used for Chess practice and integrating what has been taught to practical scrimmage on the Chess board.
We were able to mark the exam and then go through it with the trainees, the highest scored 85% and the lowest got 47%.
It is from these trained teachers that we are basing the launch of the “Smart Girl Project” which receives support from the FIDE SAC. The “Smart Girl Project” Pilot Program will launch in Uganda come next month, December 2013.
We are having a review in the last week of November and a second Exam as we screen the best and reputable lady teachers in terms of good character who are to implement the program and be able to inspire and empower the young girls in the region. We mainly are looking at girls between 6 -11years.
Report prepared by: Robert Katende