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Afriyea Golf Academy's founder, Isaiah Mwesige and student
Courtesy Afrivea Golf Academy

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Golf Helps Communities in Africa Recover From Civil War

The world can learn from Uganda’s Afrivea Golf Academy, which helps to heal children of war-torn communities.

Afriyea Golf Academy’s founder, Isaiah Mwesige,  would walk several miles every single day when he was a young boy after he heard he could make a few dollars working at a golf course. At the time, wealthy people spent large amounts of money to knock a small ball up and down large fields was a foreign concept. Furthermore, they were even willing to pay him to carry the bags as a caddy. The country he lived and grew up in had suffered from years of civil war and unrest, and it was the perfect opportunity to help his family financially.

As Isiah got older, he learned that the time he spent distancing himself from the struggles off the golf course would provide him with more money for his family. The time he spent working on the golf course gave him the time to recover from the world beyond, mentally. Isiah slowly but surely started to grow fond of the game of golf and the lifestyle that came with it. After some time getting deeper into golf’s subculture, he promised himself: “One day, he would make sure all the children could experience this too.”

Now Isaiah is all grown up and preparing to make good on his promise. After years of hard work, he became an executive at the same golf course he caddied at for all those years. Through all that hard work and dedication, he never forgot what golf gave him when he was a young man.

In 2019, that long-time promise came to fruition when he founded the Afriyea Golf Academy. The academy’s mission is to “challenge underserved youth and children with special needs to prosper in life by instilling character development, life skills, and values through education and the game of golf.”

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Afriyea Golf Academy students recover from civil war

Courtesy Afriyea Golf Academy

In just a short time, the academy has been able to deliver hundreds of golf lessons to local children, start golf programs in local schools, develop a few national team players, and work on the second site in a more difficult part of Uganda.

Isaiah has noticed the impact golf and his academy have had on children in communities around the country, especially those suffering the most from long-term physical and mental wounds. These children have suffered immensely from the war, scars that will never leave them. It is now the mission of Afriyea to expand these programs to everyone in their communities, not just the children.

Afriyea has recently partnered with the specialist Neuroscience Division of Sport Psychology Ltd (PSYenz). The partnership will provide specialized knowledge and expertise to design sports environments for psychological success in their academy.

Afriyea Golf Academy students recover from civil war

Courtesy Afriyea Golf Academy

Chief Psychologist Stephen Smith said, “I have been incredibly impressed with Afriyea and especially with the personal drive, determination, and commitment of their CEO Isaiah. We would be delighted to help him achieve his dream of supporting the first East African golfer onto the world’s leading golf tours. We are passionate about his inclusive approach that enables children to access golf. We are committed to supporting Afriyea roll out this incredible program to the areas that have been most blighted in the past. Whole communities can benefit from the scientifically proven mental and physical wellbeing recovery impact fold can affect”.

It is truly remarkable what one individual can do. It is incredible to see how something as simple as sports can help bring us all together and begin to recover from civil war.

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