By Julius Senyimba
Uganda Boxing Federation’s bigger picture at the moment is the forthcoming All Africa Games slated for next month in Rabat, Morocco.
However, the local governing body for boxers is also keeping busy with pressing issues of public health and gender based violence.
A couple of weeks ago, the federation entered into partnership with UN Women to fight violence against women and girls. This is the second UN partnership that the federation is signing on to.
In 2018, UBF entered into a collaboration with the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS -UNAIDS to reach men and boys, and to rally them to take part in HIV testing, treatment and prevention.
This effort included several highly successful activities like the National Boxing Open Championship in February 2019, the Schools National Opens in March and Juniors National Opens in June.
UN Women Uganda Country Representative Maxime Houinato and UNAIDS Country Director Karusa Kiragu Gikonyo believe that this concerted effort will go a long way in combating cases of violence against women and girls and fast track the prevention of HIV/AIDS especially among men.
“As UNAIDS, our job is to advocate for the end of AIDS in the world, it is also our job to broker partnerships like we are doing now between UBF and UN Women with the aim of catalyzing action towards ending AIDS,” said Dr. Karusa Kiragu, UNAIDS Country Director, during the press conference that was held at UN Women Offices in Kampala.
“Boxing is a sport discipline many look at and see violence. However, it is the right channel to insert humility into youths. We want to tap into the masculinity of boxers as a positive means to end violence against women and girls,” said UN Women’s Maxime.
He added, “We believe that UBF is an organization that defines a real man and UN Women wants to work with real men to put an end to this violence.”
Boxing Federation boss, Moses Muhangi vowed to lead in the fight for a better life in the ghettos. “We have to address the issues that affect women and men – that is HIV/AIDS and violence. We are happy about this partnership and we are committed.”
UBF was handed a dummy cheque worth $30,000 to empower the federation to undertake awareness creation against the two scourges. Boxing clubs will write proposals to UBF and apply for the money to change their lives.