Francis Ssuuna is a social entrepreneur, coach and sports scientist. His story as a social entrepreneur started in 2009 when he was recruited to join a social entrepreneurship with a UK based organization operating in Uganda, known as the Butterfly Project.
He started The Slum Run as a small project in 2010 originally calling it Project Circulate, a name that represented how important running is for blood circulation in the body. Francis was 17 when he started Slum Run Uganda Ltd which was inspired by the late Ola Peter who died in the stone quarry where he was working to get money for school fees.
Ever since then the Slum Run has gone from strength to strength and has helped a number of disadvantaged children stay in school by providing them with school fees whenever they participate in the Slum Run event which is organised once in a year.
The Slum Run has recently introduced a Crossfit Gym training programme into the preparation where the children are offered professional coaching in the Urban Crossfit Gym to help them to become better athletes. Francis is the CEO and runs the company and has volunteers who Francis hopes will come on board to help deliver this noble cause.
Francis saw how hard it was to lose one of our best runners when Ola died. His idea was for the Slum Run to exist to discourage Child labor by giving young people a chance to express their talents through running. It also provides a legacy for Ola Peter and the winner’s cup is named after him.
Slum run and the Urban Crossfit Gym both aim to give back to the community. Therefore Francis and his colleagues are always available, whenever their clients need them. They are passionate about serving the community to improve people’s health as they understand that improvement in health increases people’s productivity which results into economic growth and better lives. Francis and his colleagues have the drive to work hard and are satisfied with what they do and celebrate every accomplishment they make.
Previously we were running the Slum Run as a group of teenagers however currently most of the young people who used to be on the team graduated into University and are employed in other fields hence cannot devote their time to the project like they used to. The challenge here is that most people who wish to volunteer miss out on the basics of the project.
In Uganda it’s very hard to find a business that focuses on and cares about its client’s welfare like Crossfit does. In the Urban Crossfit Gym the clients are provided with knowledge and information about the most important muscles in the body, the appropriate workouts for them. This is done, in part, through their publication called the, “Elite Crossfitter”. If you would like a copy email firstname.lastname@example.org
One of the gym’s major purposes is to keep young people in school by providing them school fees through the Slum Run event. Another activity is through training young people they aim to help them become powerful athletes who will uplift others and inspire more young people to a better future. Francis and Crossfit hope to create a world where people feel better about themselves bringing up new generations where girls and boys are equals in society. Their training programme also teaches people the importance of hard work and resilience. The gym and the Slum run are both environmentally aware and encourages children to plant trees. The gym is also part of the Fridays For Future’s, “Global Strike For Climate”.
Some of the children who were part of the Slum Run a few years ago have now become professional athletes and some are wining school fees and other prizes because nobody can compete against them.
Through monthly newsletters, website and on social media this year Francis is resuming the Slum Run as it is now safer to hold these events here in Uganda as the country is now recovering from the Coronavirus. He is also working with UK supporters and this time are also calling on people from other parts of the world to get in touch and learn how to hold a slum run where they live as a way of supporting young people in Uganda.