The USC Institute for Global Health provides the USC community the opportunity to work with partners and students in Uganda to design and implement public health education curricula.

Update: Registration is now closed for the trip taking place August 6-19, 2017. If you are interested in learning more about future trips, please continue to check this page. You may also sign up for the Mozambique program.

If there’s one thing that brings people together in Uganda’s rural Mpigi District—it’s soccer. Just outside the chaos of Kampala, Mpigi remains largely farmland. Despite the district’s natural resources and proximity to the capital, residents struggle to obtain even basic health services and education due to lacking infrastructure and other challenges.

Using soccer fields as literal common ground,  USC volunteers team up with students from Uganda’s Makerere University each year to plan educational sessions and spent a week in the villages leading lectures, games and discussions with local youth.

Ranging from 9 to 15 years old, hundreds of children from local schools cycle between health lessons and soccer classes in day camps throughout the district. The lessons cover health and development subjects ranging from hygiene to gender roles.  In the soccer rotations, pupils train with professional coaches and scrimmage for a chance to move on to the final district tournament.

The camp is a collaboration between the USC Institute for Global Health and non-profit foundation Ray United FC. The camp involves Ugandan organizations including sports NGO Edgars Youth Programme, non-profit Youth At Work Initiative and community group Twezimbe Development Foundation.

After the camp,  USC volunteers spend their second week touring the district health center, local schools, health organizations and the Uganda Ministry of Health.

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Get a sense for the program through photos! (View even more on Flickr.)