If children/youth are trained using principles of chess and if they have access to life coaches, scholarship opportunities, their welfare is guaranteed, then they are able to optimize their full potential, equitably participating in the development of society.

If public health conditions in slums communities are improved, then the children and youth shall be able to study and actively participate in all activities and if the institution capacity of the academy is strengthened, then it would be more effective to deliver its mandate of restoring hope and transforming lives by inspiring others through chess


Enabling the less privileged in society realize their full potential.


Restoring hope and transforming lives by inspiring others through chess.


Transforming Lives Through Chess One Move at a Time


God fearing: we believe in God and use bible principles

Holistic development: we aim at seeing everyone develop in all spheres of life

Respect: we believe that all people have value and worth

Fairness: we give opportunities to all on merit

Team Work: we live as a family and work in partnership

Integrity: we are honest, truthful and accountable for all our actions

Thematic areas of intervention

This section provides the rationalization of the areas of intervention by SOM Chess Academy and Robert Katende Initiative

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1. Education and Vocational Training

While the game of chess is our entry point for every child, the greater aspiration is to provide equal life opportunities for all. Children that enroll into the academy are often from marginalized and vulnerable households, often missing out of school terms or academic years all together in spite of the availability of Universal Primary Education. Basics like uniforms, scholarship materials, availability of a lunch meal. Our education intervention therefore has the following activities:

a. Chess training. Every child deserves to know the game of chess. By taking on the game of chess the child learns apply the principles of the game in life management, they learn abstract thinking, creativity and innovation skills. They learn to work in teams, to support each other and others excel to become coaches. Majority are able to compete in national or international games.

b. Scholarship and scholastic materials at various education levels.

i. Primary level: The coaches identify children with needs, pay home visits and assessments. The academy identifies sponsors to support the education of the child in selected primary schools. Parental/guardian consent is essential for this to work. The academy provides tuition, scholastic materials and sometimes, contributes to the health requirements of the child while at school.

ii. Vocational training. Children that complete primary school, lower or upper secondary school depending on availability of sponsorship, are enrolled for vocational studies. Here they acquire practical life skills.

iii. College sponsorship. SOM strives to get scholarship support for excelling children to enroll into college or university education. This requires tuition, travel, living expenses and communication bills.

iv. Primary and Vocational Institute construction project. There is a vision to start a complete primary and vocational school. Architectural drawings and artistic impressions have been made available. Various approval levels and financial requirements would be needed to make this vision a reality. In the first strategic plan, energy shall be invested in fundraising, planning for the running of the academy center and getting relevant approvals from the Ministry of Education and Sports- Primary and BTVET or National Council for Higher Education depending on the levels for vocational training.

c. Completing this construction would mean that SOM Chess Club House would be able to accommodate more learners and children. The Club House would be chess and vocational level training of children. The vocational section will prioritize computer based technology, robotics, programming and artificial intelligence.

2. Welfare & Community Health

This theme focuses on the welfare of the child and his/her evolving needs.

a. Fundamentally we focus on the basic rights of the child with special interest on right to food and medical welfare. Children in slum areas often go without food. We have provided a feeding program. In this program, we provide meals to children that come to the center. Food is prepared at the center and provided to the children. We provide basic medical kits and access to relevant health checks for the children.

b. To sustain the feeding program, we have established farms in Hoima, Wakiso. Children and youth at the center are active participants in all farm activities as a livelihood training. They get opportunity to learn tree planting and to grow food crops such as maize, green plantain, cassava and beans. The harvest is brought to the center to feed the children & youth throughout the year

c. In times of crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic, we distribute basic food packages to members of the community.

d. Train and sensitize members of the public about basic sanitation and public health. This is done during follow-up visits to residences from where chess trainees come.

3. Psychosocial support and mentorship.

This service is linked to education and vocational training. We provide special life mentorship, counselling and psychosocial support to all trainees that come to the center. The essence of this is to restore hope, self-confidence and ability to set life goals and achieve them. Peer mentoring has played a key role. Between 2018-2019 we reached 10,00 children and youth with our program.

4. Institution growth and development.

This intervention shall focus on the health and growth of SOM Chess Academy. In particular, we shall consider the following.

a. Internal systems and controls. As much as possible, we shall leverage use of technology to ease and smoothen work of the academy. The Board shall be supported with basic corporate governance training, management and running of meetings, and fundraising.

b. Staff growth and development. As a principle, SOM nurtures leaders from within. The current team shall be supported through coaching, mentorship and short-course trainings to improve coordination and performance.

c. Improve monitoring and evaluation systems. A dashboard system or open source software shall be adopted to ensure that the impact of the academy is systematically tracked.

d. Strengthen internal and external financial sources. SOM Chess Academy shall formalize Chess Coaching and Mentorship as a service to the economically advantaged communities and Institutions that may need the services. The income shall be used to support SOM Chess Academy operations and growth. The farms shall be improved to sustain feeding programs. The academy shall institute a development office to support the Executive Director in following up on fundraising links.

e. Partnership and Networking strengthening. SOM Chess Academy has a wealth of partners and collaboration linkages that have not translated into financial support to scale and deepen the impact. The aim of strengthening partnership and networking is to support continuation of and scale the academy impact.


To produce authentic self-reliant leaders by imparting chess principles, life skills, innovative thinking, problem solving skills and holistic development