SOM Chess Academy, Tanzania
Robert Katende, was born and raised in the slums of Kampala, Uganda. Against all odds, he made it to Kyambogo University where he pursued a degree in civil engineering. He introduced and developed chess programs in the slums of Kampala and in the internally displaced people’s camps (IDP) in Gulu, Northern Uganda, an area severely affected by Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). The impact of the chess program has now drawn international attention with Disney film, Queen of Katwe, which depicts the life of Phiona Mutesi and her rise from the slums to become an international chess champion. SOM Chess Academy has proven chess to be an equalizer – allowing youth to show off their abilities despite their backgrounds.