The cricket development and AIDS awareness charity, Cricket Without Boundaries (CWB), is celebrating its membership to the UK network STOPAIDS, as part of its efforts to provide an effective global response to HIV and AIDS.
10 years ago, we were in full swing of setting up CWB around our day jobs. It was a unique experience and something out of the ordinary happened almost every day.
Next February Cricket Without Boundaries are sending a specialist team of volunteers to Kenya to deliver a bespoke project around Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
The CWB team are joining forces with FGM charity ‘28 Too Many’ and the ‘Maasai Cricket Warriors’, aiming to up-skill teachers by providing advice on how to support girls who are fearful of FGM or have been subjected to the practice, as well as providing support to girls who have been or are likely to subjected to the practice.
For the International Day of the Girl Child 2014, 28 Too Many and Cricket Without Boundaries (CWB) are pleased to announce a ground breaking project in Kenya using sport to bring communities together, empower girls and encourage the abandonment of female genital mutilation (FGM).
Cricket Without Boundaries volunteer Olly Ralph has been named the ECB Young Coach of the Year for the South West.
The 23-year-old from Bristol picked up the award for his work with Gloucestershire’s county and district teams and in local schools.
Olly – who works for bowling machine manufacturers BOLA - visited Uganda with CWB in February and he says the experience has had a hugely positive impact on him both as a person and as a coach.
I have been back from Kenya for over a week now and I have only just stopped having 'CWB dreams'.
It is as though my brain was still trying to process all the magical, mind-blowing and moving things we encountered.
From the 4000 smiling children we coached, to meeting Massai Warriors and stopping for elephants on the way to 'work', it was an unforgettable fortnight.
In a few days time CWB will be entering its 10th year. It seems only yesterday that myself, Andy and Chris were sitting around a kitchen table talking about how we were going to coach cricket from Cairo to Cape Town.
One of the questions we asked, apart from will the trip even work, was whether we should we set up a Charity to do that? Chris looked into that and the decision was made to apply for Charity status. So 3 volunteers set up a charity, oblivious to what it really involved. But I guess sometimes that’s what you need in life a great idea and a why not attitude. There are just so many reasons not to do things in life. So we took a risk, gave up our jobs and set off from the Nursery Gates at Lords in October 2015 with a variety of plastic cricket sets, our passports and a copy of the Rough Guide to Africa.
The ABC-T message is our method of integrating HIV awareness messages into our cricket coaching. The T is for testing – a key element in fighting the spread of HIV and living positively with HIV.
Testing is also a core element of cricket, for instance asking for a guard to test your set up or testing technique new skill at the end of a coaching session. Normalising testing in a cricket environment, where children can immediately see the benefits and often enjoy the testing process, helps to break down the stigma that prevents many young Africans from getting an HIV test.
December 1st, World AIDS day is an annual chance to reflect and showcase the work that goes into fighting this terrible disease and focus on how we can do more.
As this years theme is 'Focus, Partner, Achieve: An AIDS-free Generation,’ we want to reflect on the partnerships we have built in order to help achieve an AIDS-free generation.
Cricket Without Boundaries will be one of four charities supported by Crabtree Junior School in Harpenden, Hertfordshire this year after being made aware of CWB by Mrs Renier who visited Northern Uganda with the charity in the Spring.
Mrs Renier said "After returning from Uganda I was amazed at the impact that CWB had with the children we worked with and wanted to continue supporting the charity as much as possible. Ian Patrick the head teacher has been incredibly supportive and I hope that our school will be able to help future projects out in Africa. I also think it will encourage my children to think about themselves as members of a world wide community for which we all have responsibilities.
Luke Sellers reports on Day Nine from Uganda.
There are many things from our time in Kilembe that will live long in the memory; the breath-taking scenery, the insatiable appetite for cricket and the warmth of the people.
But above all of these it is the stories of two very special women in particular that will leave the most enduring imprint on myself and the rest of the team.
First time volunteer Marissa Rundle, blogs from Rwanda about the relationship between women, sport and HIV/Aids.
At first it was difficult to see the link between coaching cricket and HIV/Aids education. How wrong was I. A few days ago we visited Fawe Girls Secondary College (Kigali). After a massive downfall of rain we braved the large puddles and roaming cows to play some cricket. It was their first introduction to the game and within a few hours of coaching we could see great potential for the Rwandan women's squad. They loved it.
A superb allround performance from BBC reporter Phil Mackie wasn't quite enough to prevent a Cricket Without Boundaries XI falling to a five run defeat to an England Women's XI at Arundel.
The newshound – famed for his heart-rending CWB documentary recorded in Rwanda and Kenya last year– took three wickets, a run out and finished on 36 not out as the charity just failed to reach their target of 128 in a close-fought encounter.
One of the things that most CWB volunteers experience is the inevitable obsession with Africa and the countries that they visited.
In the case of our long serving volunteer Veronika Reeves this obsession produced her debut novel Wrapped in a blue kikohi.