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Winners of Amuru MTN, Acholi heritage bicycle race to use winnings pay school fees

Kilak South MP, Gilbert Olanya handing over Shs 500,000 to Bishop Loum, who won the Amuru race

Amuru, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Winners of the MTN Uganda-sponsored Acholi Cultural Institution, Ker Kwaro Acholi have said they will use the money they won following Saturday’s bicycle race at Amuru Town Council in Amuru district to pay school fees for their children and siblings.

The Amuru competition attracted over 20 participants with 9 participants racing in the quest to win the Shs 1million staked in both the men and women’s category respectively. Uganda’s education calendar starts on Monday 6th February this year.

A total of 14 women registered to participate in the race but only 5 people raced while the men’s category attracted more participants including Richard Odongkara, Robert Acaba, Simon Komakech, and Bishop Loum.

In the women’s category, Christine Amono, Kevin Aweko, Brenda Akello, and Lucy Awor raced in the chase of Shs 500,000 winner’s cash price.

Brenda Akello, who was the overall winner in the women’s category said she will use the money to pay for the school fees of her brother who is now joining senior five at Gulu College secondary school, in Gulu City.

Akello said that she was struggling to get the Shs 450,000 needed to pay for the school fees of her brother.

Akello thanked MTN and Ker Kwaro Acholi for organizing the race , which has enabled her get money to pay for her most urgent need at the time.

“I was struggling to get money to pay the school fees of my children but most importantly my brother who is now joining A’Level. This competition came in timely, now I have less worry in regards to paying school fees and other requirements especially for my children, who are still in primary school”,Akello said.

Bishop Loum, who was the overall winner in the Men’s category said he will use the money to pay his three children at school, as first term officially starts on Monday next week.

According to Loum, he has two children at primary school and one other child joining secondary education.

Deputy RDC Amuru Joan Apio, the Amuru Deputy Resident District Commissioner said the initiative has helped unite people in the district.

Dennis Harindimana, Regional marketing manager MTN, lauded the cultural chiefdom for organizing the race pledging that the company will continue to support the community members to develop them.

Encouraged the community members to implement the theme of ending teenage pregnancies in Acholi Sub region urging the youths to talk to themselves on the dangers of teenage pregnancies.

Apio encouraged the learners to go back to school,  saying that all parents whose children will be found at home will be apprehended.

She also encouraged locals to engage in early preparation for cultivation in order to have good yields from their gardens.

Gilbert Olanya, the Kilak South Member of Parliament said the theme of the sporting activities aimed at ending teenage pregnancy is very timely. He said several girls got impregnated during the covid-19 Pandemic.

He said that there is need for all stakeholders to engage especially the youths in sensitizing the community members on the dangers of teenage pregnancies.

MTN Uganda’s partnership with the Ker Kwaro Acholi in the bicycle race competition is hinged on an ongoing partnership signed in 2019 but delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions.

The agreement entails MTN Uganda working together with the Ker Kwaro leadership to support the chiefdom’s efforts to uplift the socio-cultural welfare of the people in the Acholi sub-region through jointly undertaking health, education and sports initiatives.

MTN Uganda has in the past year undertaken initiatives in health and education in the Acholi region such as the refurbishment and kitting of the Cwero Health Center III Maternity ward in 2019 as well as constructing a classroom block Kuc Ki Gen PEAS high school in Lamwo District.

MTN Uganda is also sponsoring a football tournament in the Ker Kwaro Acholi dubbed MTN Odilo Ker Football Tournament that kicked off on 15 January 2023.

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