Monday, 06 June 2016 00:00

Volunteers needed for HIV/AIDS and FGM awareness through Cricket

In the last 10 years, the development charity Cricket Without Boundaries (CWB) has trained over a quarter of a million children in 5 African countries. Alongside those children we have trained over 3500 adults as ICC cricket coaches. More importantly, through every one of those children and coaches, we have raised awareness of HIV/AIDS and FGM; and that awareness is now cascading through communities, reaching countless individuals.

For Volunteers' Week 2016, Cricket Without Boundaries are launching a new drive to recruit more volunteers.

Lee Booth, Head of Delivery at CWB, said:

"It is only through the support of our remarkable volunteers who make everything that we do possible. But our volunteers get a huge amount out of their role too. In volunteering for two weeks the difference you can make is surprisingly big! For some children we visit, simply having the chance to play an organised game is a thrill. But equally you can make a fundamental difference to a community through spreading the positive HIV/AIDS and FGM awareness messages through the coaching.

"Not only will you be able to make a huge difference in the country you visit but you will also pick up life and tangible professional skills through volunteering. You only have to listen to the experiences of our volunteers to understand just how much those two weeks could transform your life."

volswek1Sara Begg, who coached in Uganda for CWB last year, said:

"I am a genuinely passionate believer in the ability of sport (and particularly cricket!) to have a positive impact on people’s lives, no matter where they are, and I was interested to see how it could be used to carry public health messages. Plus, one of my life mottos is “we’ll give it a go!” – so I thought… I’ll give it a go!

"Volunteering for CWB is genuinely the best thing I have ever done. I left Uganda with so many happy memories of the people we met and the things we did, and came away with a fresh perspective on what things I thought were important in life. In fact, since the trip I have made plans to re-train and enter into a career in global public health – all thanks to two weeks with the wonderful CWB.”

Thom Manning, who coached in Cameroon for CWB, said:

"My reasons for volunteering were a combination of a mid-life crisis, the want to do something different and far away, and a wish to re-ignite a passion for coaching after a particularly difficult season!

"Everywhere we went we were heartily welcomed. The kids were awesome, intensely competitive and totally committed. The school teachers were enthusiastic and keen to learn.

"Volunteering for CWB gave me an incredible sense of achievement and since my return I have once again become active at my local club. I made new friends both from the UK and abroad and I can’t wait to get back out there to see them and make new ones."

Liam Burrell, who has coached in Rwanda for CWB, said:

"Coaching cricket in Africa has always been something I've wanted to do in order to experience something different and develop my coaching. The idea that CWB combined this with HIV/AIDs awareness really captured my attention. I saw the project as a chance to do something for those less fortunate than myself. It's astonishing what sport can do - and it really does bring to the fore such a pressing issue.

"Don't miss out! Chances are you'll regret it if you do. The memories you take away from a trip will last you a lifetime, and the reward you'll get from a CWB trip are amazing. Get stuck in at the heart of the charity...a whole new family awaits!"

Natasha Bingley, who has coached in Uganda for CWB, said:

"Coming from a completely non cricketing background CWB wasn’t an obvious choice of charity to involve myself with. But I’m so glad that I did. The initial appeal was the charity's work to raise HIV/AIDs awareness but after the training weekend I was excited about playing more cricket. Other reasons for going included wanting to experience a new culture, see new sights, meet new people and absolve myself of the responsibilities in my everyday life for a few weeks. I’m pleased to report all objectives were successfully met.

"If you volunteer for CWB, go with open eyes, arms and hearts they will be filled with love and special memories that you will treasure for a lifetime."

Cricket Without Boundaries are currently looking for volunteers for two-week projects in Africa during Spring and Autumn 2017. For more information on how you can get involved please click here.




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