The Queen of Katwe: A Year Later
September 2017 marks one year since Disney released Queen of Katwe, a movie set in Katwe Slum in Kampala, Uganda, telling the story of chess champion Phiona Mutesi, her family, and her coach, Robert Katende. People very often ask how the movie has affected the people of Katwe Slum, and without hesitation, Robert Katende (Sports Outreach Africa Director) always answers, “It has given people hope.” Through seeing what God is doing in the lives of people like Phiona, Benjamin, and Ivan, many from Katwe are becoming aware of the possibilities that exist beyond the slum and are gaining confidence as God gives them the ability to overcome their dire circumstances.
Exciting updates abound, but we’ll begin with the queen herself. Phiona Mutesi has finished high school and will attend Northwest University in Kirkland, WA this fall, with plans to pursue sociology. Benjamin, another of Coach Robert’s original group of “Pioneers,” will also be studying at Northwest University. The remaining Pioneers are now coaching over 200 Ugandan chess players, and Ivan is even teaching at a local school in Kampala!
Coach Robert’s dream of building a new chess center in Katwe has been realized and impacts are rippling outward. Robert envisions the Katwe Chess Center expanding even more and becoming a beacon in the community, eventually providing living space for qualified children and a computer lab to be used for vocational training. Chess programs are reaching into poorer parts of Kenya, and Sports Outreach’s El Salvador ministry has started chess classes as well. Hope is being restored as children realize that they are precious in God’s sight and each one has the potential to be a queen (or king!) in His kingdom!
As you may have guessed, new facilities and broader community outreach brings increased ministry expenses, which in turn calls for more financial resources. Tune in this month via our website and social media to learn more specifics about what your next move could be in helping to meet those needs.
The Sports Outreach Ministry Team
Step on the field with us!
- Do you want to learn more about the work of Sports Outreach, we would love to speak with you.
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- Do you know anyone who would like to be a coach or has a passion for sports ministry?