Friday, 13 June 2008

The Great Football Giveaway - Happening now in Uganda

I wrote about the Great Football Giveaway a few months ago when I found out about it and donated a few balls - I think it's a brilliant idea!

Duncan Thomas and a team of volunteers have collected donations for 3000 footballs to give away in Uganda and they are in the middle of it right now, I wanted to share the email I received from them:

Hi Willem,

Well we’re approaching the mid point of The Great Football Giveaway in Uganda and finally have found somewhere where we can send you a quick update. We have been joined by our full team of volunteers – Paul & I, Beth, Lisa Ben & Rick, as we continue our journey across rural Uganda, traveling East to West.

In the first two weeks we have already visited over 50 schools in rural areas, many orphan centres, programmes for partially & severely disabled children, and linked up with a number of local NGOs. The passion that people have here for caring for their own is both extraordinary and inspirational. We have already distributed over 1,000 footballs and netballs direct to the children and the reactions have been breathtaking.

The majority of schools visited have had very poor resources and we have seen that those fortunate enough to have a football have often either borrowed it from a neighbouring school, or are using very old balls in poor condition. We have also had many opportunities to “stop & swap” homemade rag balls for those we have brought, with children in villages, or those playing by the side of the road. Reactions have varied from shock followed by excitement, to excitement followed by yet more excitement. So many smiles…

In brief everywhere we have gone across some of the most rural areas of Uganda, we have seen the kids go wild with joy and have often left a legacy of chaos and hysteria in the schools we’ve visited. The beginning of next week sees us leave the East of the country and travel in an arc across the north towards the hotter climate of the West. But more of the later… Thank you so much for the balls you’ve given us to give to the kids here. Already there are tens of thousands of children that will have enjoyed kicking & throwing them around and we still have another 2,000 balls to give away. Even if we had to return today, this project has already been a huge success, so thank you.

All the best

A really inspiring project, and I encourage you to check out the site and the video.

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