Preparing children living in prison through tourism


A number of innocents have been born and or live in prison, as their parents serve sentences. Others move into prison with their parents, because they have nowhere else to go. And the challenge: What do we do with these children? What is their future?

Now in its second year, the Kampala Cycling Challenge, initiated by Palm Travel Bureau with the Uganda Tourism Board (UTB), hopes to give answers to this painful question.

This Sunday on August 14, cyclists will hit the roads and hills of Kampala City with a new adventure challenge – to raise funds to train children born in prison.

“We have a challenge on our hands – the forgotten children born or living in our prisons are becoming adults. Adults without skills, which means an uncertain future,” says Stephen Asiimwe, the Chief Executive Officer at UTB.

He says the proceeds from the Kampala Cycling Challenge 2016, with the support of private sector players, will go a long way in training the 16 to 18-year-old children to become tour guides and useful adults.

“The proceeds will be used to give children born in prison another chance in life. We shall train and skill them as tourism guides to work in Kampala,” says Asiimwe.

Uganda’s state Minister for Tourism, Mr. Godfrey Kiwanda, has called for greater participation from visitors and people of Kampala. Kiwanda, who has since Tuesday, August 9, been on a campaign to visit and popularize Kampala tourism attractions, will be the chief cyclist.

“Tourism is not only about going to the parks. There is a lot to see in and around our city, and the Kampala Adventure Cycling event will allow many people appreciate this city,” Kiwanda says.

“It is amazing that many people live here but have only seen so little. There are two things I love doing, drumming and cycling. I used to cycle almost 15 kilometers to school. Now I will cycle to ensure children born in prison are schooled for life through tourism training,” he says.

Last year the event attracted 280 local riders and 20 foreign riders who participated in the 25-kilometer and 12-kilometer race categories. The winners in different categories will go away with several prizes, among them food vouchers from Café Javas, shopping vouchers from Nakumatt, and air tickets from Brussels Airlines. Other sponsors are The Observer newspaper, Palm Travel Bureau, Café Javas, Kampala Capital City Authority, and the Uganda Tourism Board.