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Monday, 15 December 2014 00:00

CWB Autumn Round-Up

Autumn 2014 saw Cricket Without Boundaries deliver a record six projects across five countries, coaching more than 30,000 children and training around 200 coaches.

With HIV testing tents at festivals in Uganda, establishing links with a research project in Cameroon and our Ambassadors helping us reach record numbers, it has been an incredible last few months.

The Rwanda trip was first off the block, with a team of 10 volunteers supported by three CWB Ambassadors – our paid local coaches.

Visiting three different destinations the group delivered cricket and HIV/AIDS awareness messages to a staggering 8000 children.

The CWB volunteers also helped at a schools finals day organised by Ambassador Dusabemungu Hirwa Eric. The event featured the best teams from the 10 schools he has been coaching in.

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They reached the finals day after coming through a festival that was supported by the Aids Healthcare Foundation who provided counsellors and handed out condoms.

CWB head of delivery and Rwanda country manager said: “This is the first year of the Ambassadors Programme and the event highlights the positive effect it is having. As well as organising the festival the Ambassadors have reached more than 20,000 children in the last 12 months which shows the incredible impact CWB can have by ensuring we have a permanent presence in our project countries.”

During their two week trip our Ugandan team coached 2000 children, trained 65 new coaches and helped 150 children learn their status with pitch-side HIV/AIDS testing at two cricket festivals.

In Kamuli, Lugazi and Masindi the CWB team coached school groups, trained teachers and ran cricket festivals that were rebranded as ‘test days’.

In two of these places HIV testing and counselling was provided adjacent to the action by the Mehta Group and The Aids Support Organisation.

In Botswana the team coached over 1000 children and strengthened CWB’s links with the TOP Banana organisation who work with orphans and underprivileged youngsters.

One of their many highlights came on the final morning in the country where they coached 300 children – many of whom were orphaned by HIV/AIDS at a community day in Francistown.

This Autumn CWB ran two trips to Kenya, coaching 4,000 children on each.

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The first trip visited Kisumu, Kericho and Nakuru.

In Kisumu they found that cricket is developing at such a pace that some schools now boast junior Kenyan internationals – some of whom were introduced to the game by CWB.

The team trained 40 new coaches in Kericho before finishing in Nakuru.

This included a visit to Baharini Primary, a slum school that had never played cricket before a CWB visit in 2012 but they now regularly win festivals and have students in the national side at all age groups.

The second Kenya trip saw the team work alongside Massai Warriors and stop for elephants on the way to coaching sessions. They also ran the first ever festival in the agricultural county of Murang’a and visited a number of children’s homes in Thika.

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The final project of Autumn 2014 was CWB’s third visit to Cameroon.

Off the pitch the team had to battle a week without running water where they had to wash and flush their toilets with buckets from the swimming pool.

On the field they coached nearly 4000 children and partnered with a research project led by Dr Patrick Okwen from Bamenda University to build an evidence base of CWB’s work there.

This is another example of the growing links between CWB and HIV/AIDS various organisations in our project countries. Along with our growing army of Ambassadors these are the crucial next step in our efforts to bowl HIV/AIDS out of Africa.

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