In 2014, then 10-year old Ray Wipfli first visited Uganda with his mom who was working on a public health project in Central Uganda. During the trip, Ray participated in a life-changing community soccer game. While he played, Ray recognized the power of soccer to break down cultural barriers. He played the same game, followed the same rules, and most importantly, shared the same goal of getting the ball in the net with all the youth that minutes before had been complete strangers. However, Ray was also shocked by the conditions in which the kids were expected to play. The field was littered with bricks and ant hills and the kids did not wear shoes. Ray made a commitment to his new friends to help create more opportunities to play soccer together.
With this commitment in mind, Ray launched a campaign to host a week-long soccer camp that would provide professional soccer coaching and health education in the village he had visited. Under Ray's leadership, the initial fundraising campaign grew into a full fledged organization that to date has partnered with community-based organizations and universities to reach over 5,000 Ugandan youth with professional soccer training, public health education, healthy meals and clean water through its annual Youth Camp. RUFC has also expanded to provide opportunities beyond those associated with camp, including supporting linked school clubs in Uganda and the US and leading Youth Vision trips for American high school students to travel to Uganda to gain greater cultural understanding and enhanced global citizenship.
Today, RUFC remains committed to support youth in Uganda and beyond gain opportunities to fulfill their potential and become global citizens.