by ITTF Foundation
Amina Lukaaya, Ugandan national women’s champion, has always served as an inspiration. She funded Mimi’s Tables in 2017 to give children in informal settlements the opportunity to develop their talent in sport, breaking the chains of poverty and crime. The grassroots table tennis academy was flourishing and changing the lives of underprivileged children on a daily basis, until Covid-19 struck.
The global pandemic crippled Mimi’s Tables. Amina Lukaaya refused to give up and reached out to the ITTF Foundation. With the TableTennisUnited Fund, we are happy to have helped the academy recover and to see it embracing a new mission in empowering young women in the community.
The right to “dream on”
“If a child can have a dream to be better than they have seen in their homes and communities, then I would be immensely proud of them; this is what I bring to them. A chance to dream.” Amina Lukaaya
Prior to the pandemic, Amina Lukaaya had been teaching the children at Mimi’s Tables top-class techniques, inspiring countless youngsters to explore their potential and pursuit their dreams. The TableTennisUnited Fund ensured the dreams could sail on under the stormy conditions which Covid‑19 has brought upon us. Financial aid allowed the children to resume training, while health measures could be implemented once again to offer a safe training environment.
The focus on self-worth
The TableTennisUnited Fund also helped Amina Lukaaya to extend her reach to empower young women in her community.
On Tuesday 6th April, as a part of the World Table Tennis Day and FEMpowerment celebrations, a group of children and teenagers met with Nakiwala Sumaya, a female entrepreneur and a Councillor elect of Bweyogerere at Kira municipality. Followed by her speech was a “girls’ talk” session, in which Nakiwala Sumaya explored her female audience’s inspirations, fears, insecurities and things that make them happy or sad.
“Girls here do not always have female role models; these are some of the topics that never came up when I was growing up. It is important for them to know their self-worth and that they matter.” Amina Lukaaya
The story of Mimi’s Tables and the children continues, as the TableTennisUnited Fund marches on to support more organisations and individuals in the table tennis community during Covid-19. Donate now to help those in need, or apply for help if you need support during this crisis.
Read about how the TableTennisUnited Fund has helped local clubs in Croatia during the pandemic.