Hey, my name is Gingo Samuel. I am a baseball coach in Jinja, Uganda. I started coaching in 2012 with my friend Derrick and since then we have trained a huge number of kids in various communities.
Baseball is a tool we use to reach out to kids, inspire them to live a purpose-driven life, and be a beacon of hope for their families.
Our first team was started in a slum on the outskirts of Jinja town. Kids we started in 2012 were not going to school, stayed in video halls every day, and due to the rough life, some were introduced to drugs.
Baseball keeps them away from all these dangers and bad influences and trained them to be morally upright citizens. We have been able to get over 20 kids in school throughout our friends. This is because no matter how good ball players they are, they need an education. We have tried to ensure that we help them holistically.
We have had success stories that a boys team has been national champions 4 times in a row! The slum despite the ridicule to it has produced some of the best ballplayers in the country. Some that I have posted on my Twitter account.
I know kids are so good here and they dream big to be professional baseball players in MLB. This dream, however, never seems to be a reality because there are no developed facilities to train our kids to be to that level and no opportunity along the way. Many kids drop out of baseball and their dreams gradually are banished from their minds. This breaks my heart.
That's why with this program, we want to concentrate on about 3 frontlines: education, professional baseball, and vocational jobs. We want to have our kids getting baseball scholarships in high schools and colleges all over the world. Playing for academies and clubs. Our kids have that potential because they work hard. Given an opportunity, they will shine.
Most of these come from families that can't provide 2 meals for them a day, and we believe if we get opportunities for them, they will help their families in due time.
Right now we have 60 active players in schools and communities. Our kids are between the ages 9-18.
We believe that as coaches we are doing our best to find opportunities for our kids and they are in turn working hard to be good players!