Simon is disciplined and driven. After losing his father at a young age, he feared that his desire to continue his education beyond primary school would be lost. However, Simon fought hard to attend trials to gain a scholarship in football. Despite not being the most gifted of players at the trials, the coach was so impressed by Simon’s work ethic and ability to learn that he granted Simon a short term scholarship with a view to extend if his football improved. Simon defied all expectations and went on to become one of the best players on his school team.
Along the way, Simon has been beset by temptations for a negative path in life including coaches asking him to pay bribes for a place on their team and an education at their school. However, each time Simon has done the right thing and handled himself with dignity and ethics and stayed on a positive path, making him an excellent role model for young people in Uganda.
Simon uses his voice and influence on the football pitch to teach other young people how to protect themselves from HIV/AIDS using lessons taught through football. HIV and AIDS have had a huge impact on the population in Uganda, with many young people orphaned as a result. These young orphans struggle to pay for education and so end up on the streets and involved in drink, drugs, and gang violence.
As a result of his MJYL financial stipend Simon has coached over 350 children in sport for development focusing on life skills and conflict prevention. The CAC communication and remote coaching support has enabled Simon to organize CAC games for 70 youths on Peace Day. As a result of his local organizations support he was admitted into vocational school and with his MJYL financial stipend and local organizations’ support he has started building the new academy school in Mbarara for disadvantaged youth. As a result of remote coaching support Simon’s team qualified for the Uganda Cup.