[QODLink]
Letter From My Child

Uganda: Queen of the Slums

From the despair of a slum to the World Chess Olympiad in Russia - Phiona searches for answers and a better life.

Last updated: 20 Apr 2014 12:52
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

Filmmaker: Gert Corba

Those who are born in the hopeless slums of Kampala start with a setback in life, and being born a girl doubles this setback.

"There are times when I miss my father. I wish my father was still alive.

My mother never speaks of him. when I ask her what he died of, she always says : 'Ask those who were there'."

- Phiona,14

In Kibuli, a slum community of single mothers and neglected children, the youth learn to survive the hard way.

But mostly they learn from a young age to accept their miserable situation.

This also applies to Phiona,14, who lives with her chronically-ill mother in a shack with walls made of corrugated iron.

But when a social worker teaches the poor girl how to play chess, her slum life takes an amazing turn.

Phiona appears to be extremely talented and in no time she becomes the national chess youth champion of Uganda, and goes on to win the African Youth Championship in Sudan.

Her victory march then takes her to the World Chess Youth Championship in freezing cold Siberia, in the heart of Russia.

Will she be able to survive in this new world full of competition? What can Phiona’s new status mean to her mother in their dwelling in Kibuli? And finally, who can give her answers about how and why her father died?

285

Source:
Al Jazeera
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
Country
City
Featured on Al Jazeera
Mother of jailed Al Jazeera journalist Abdullah Elshamy says her son's ordeal highlights the value of press freedom.
French Jews and Muslims say recent National Front victories in mayoral races reflect rising xenophobia.
Western fighters have streamed into the Middle East to help 'liberate' Arab countries such as Syria and Libya.
The Pakistani government is proposing reform of the nation's madrassas, which are accused of fostering terrorism.
Featured
Survivors of Bangladesh garment factory collapse say they received little compensation and face economic hardship.
As Iraq prepares to vote, deadly violence is surging. But at the site of one bomb attack, people insist life must go on.
French Jews and Muslims say recent National Front victories in mayoral races reflect rising xenophobia.
Up to 23,000 federal prisoners could qualify for clemency under new Justice Department initiative.
After years of rapid growth, Argentina is bracing for another economic crisis as inflation eats up purchasing power.
join our mailing list