18th - 31st October
The second Kenya project of autumn 2014 saw CWB visit Laikipia, Murang'a and Thika, coaching 4000 children and meeting a very special "old friend" of CWB along the way.
First stop was the rugged and remote rural area of Laikipia, home to the Maasai Cricket Warriors (MCW), who worked with the team throughout their visit.
Highlights of this part of the trip included stopping for elephants on the way to 'work' and running a memorable session for 200+ excitable and enthusiastic pupils from Il Polei Primary School at the MCW field.
Laikipia may have been the most awe-inspiring destination but Murang'a was the best from a cricket point of view. During five days there the team visited a succession of schools, each more enthusiastic than the last, culminating in the area's first ever festival. Sparked into life by CWB's visit earlier in 2014, Murang'a's new found love of cricket is largely down to the efforts of one man – inspiring volunteer coach Mathius Wasike.
From the lush agricultural county of Murang'a the travelled 30minutes up the road to the dry, dusty industrial town of Thika which proudly calls itself "the Birmingham of Kenya".
The team encountered a few logistical problems in the form of teacher strikes and being let down by our local contact but it all paled into insignificance when we met Eva Kawira.
Eva- who was gravely ill with HIV/AIDS - hit the winning runs in a game at the Kenwa children's centre on the trustees' original trip in 2005. She is now a bright, bubbly and healthy 18-year-old with the world at her feet. Her illness is controlled by medication and she hopes to train as a nurse to help other people with the disease.
Reflecting on the trustees' original trip she said: "After they left I started thinking I am like other children, I am strong, I can play cricket. I started thinking about how I would get better, not how I would die. My life changed from there."
While in Thika the team also met the amazing "karate kids" of Baraka Children's home. This group of orphans have been taught karate by local sports administrator Elizabeth as a way of learning self-discipline and a number are now national and African champions. She hopes to use cricket in the same way.
Luke Sellers – Project Leader
Robert van der Haarten