It’s now been almost two and a half years since Francis set up Project Circulate and in advance of some special activities planned for the 2012 London Olympics, I wanted to put into perspective his achievement with the project. We don’t have photographs of all the activities he has done. Francis was born in a village in Lyantonde and was always an excellent runner, as he had to travel so far from home to his school.
Every member of the Butterfly Project has to design their own project, based around their own strengths and capabilities and so Francis decided to set up a running club in the Acholi Quarter in Kireka, one of the most disadvantaged areas in all Kampala for children to live.
Francis recruited the group, then gave them water and a biscuit after their run and gradually more children came to run, sometimes early morning and late afternoon. Children were the most deprived group – some were scrap collectors, some were working as stone breakers in the quarry and most have little means to afford to go to school.
Over time some dropped out and new ones came along, but there was always a core of very capable runners that trained with him. In 2012, these children are doing excellent national times for long distance – mainly 800m and up – and their stamina is creditable considering many are half-starved. The confidence built up in these kids has been the most special outcome of this project, as they have started to realise their abilities in other areas besides running and this group most vulnerable to crime have learnt that they have more of a future than a thief or worse.
I hope you enjoy the photos. I hope we will be able to continue with many more into the future.