For most people, Cameroon is a country famous for forays on the international football stage and for being the subject of Gerald Durrell's books. More recent books describe a bilingual country with rich fauna and flora, a colonial past involving 3 countries (4 if you count Portugal several hundred years ago) but seemingly more developed than its East African cousins.
A year of partnership planning with the Cameroon Cricket Federation (FECACRICKET) has paid off as we set off for CWB's maiden voyage to Cameroon on 9th November. Country Manager Jo North Clarke guides us through Cameroons vital stats and gives an insight on what the team will be up to.
Touching down in a drizzly and damp Heathrow on Friday morning I could not help but reflect at the end of a mad 3 weeks. I had spent a week in Kigali with the Rwanda project to help with a BBC radio 5 documentary on CWB, I then came back for a 5 day trial in Sheffield (UK) before flying straight back to East Africa for the second week of the Kenya project. Looking back on it I can't believe I was effectively commuting from East Africa to Sheffield. The Kenya airways flight map has become firmly imprinted on both my conscious and semi-conscious as has that long corridor of an airport in Nairobi.
Adapatability is one of the key pillars of our work, and here's an example of why that's the case! Enjoy some controlled chaos in Kenya...
'What do you do when you arrive at a school ready to coach 50 kids and find 400 more sitting outside to watch? You coach them as well!
Having already coached more than 500 children across four different schools we arrived at Nakuru Elite – our last stop of the day – to find 50 kids ready for action and around 450 sitting outside to watch.
Within seconds the decision had been made to involve all 500.
One of the founding trustees of CWB, Ed Williams (on the right of picture!), reflects on a very special time in Rwanda. Enjoy...
'I didn't know what to quite expect joining the Rwanda team halfway through their trip. I had flown out at the last minute in order, along with Lee Booth, to ensure that BBC crew that was going to cover the project had something truly special to film, as well as giving the co-founder and trustee back story to CWB.
As today (11th October) is the International Day of the Girl, the Rwanda team take a look at the impact of cricket and the ABC message on the girls they have coached, in Day 10 of their blog.
'Of the groups we have coached over the past 10 days around the country, we have always coached to a mixture of girls and boys. You only have to look at the profile page of the team members on this CWB trip to know that there are members of the team, whose involvement in cricket back in England seeks to promote women in the game, whether it be on a national or local level, playing or officiating. This is something which the team, as the charity name suggests, is seeking to promote in Rwanda.
As she prepares for the Kenya trip which leaves on Saturday, catch up with Holly's account of her time at the T20 World Cup in Sri Lanka...
'It is now three days until the trip to Kenya and only yesterday I arrived back from Sri Lanka. Cricket aside, I feel Sri Lanka was a good warm up for what is to come in Kenya: bottled water, a thick spray of deet and suncream at all times. However, this did not stop me from getting bitten by bed bugs or sunburnt due to non removed massage oil.
CWB volunteer Kristy Shaw has set herself a steep challenge in order to raise funds for her trip to Uganda in Spring 2013. On Saturday 13th October she will cycle 100 miles from Oxford to London with her extremely supportive friends Tim, Vicky, Sarah, Dewayne and Jimmy.
Cricket mad Rob and Lucy Rowe didn’t want to give their guests the usual wedding favours, but did want to make a difference, so they donated what they would have spent on them to CWB… and even managed to squeeze in a quick game of cricket in between the speeches!
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.
A Rotary Club in Hertfordshire has become the latest supporter of the upcoming round of CWB projects, providing a donation of £500 which will deliver a substantial boost to funding for the autumn 2012 trips.
The work of CWB came to the attention of Paul Bolton, Head of the International Committee of the Royston Rotary Club, as a result of CWB volunteer Cameron Foster being crowned Rotary International of Britain and Ireland Young Citizen of the Year in April. Paul, who spend many years working in Africa himself, was delighted to add CWB to the charities which the International Committee was supporting for the Rotary year 2012/13.
The Uganda team are out in country and due to start coaching tomorrow. In the meantime here is the press release from the UCA giving more information on the project.
'Cricket Without Boundaries (CWB) which is a UK based charity dedicated to helping, educating and developing local communities around the world through the spread and growth of cricket will be arriving in the country on 23rd September 2012 and depart on 7th October 2012. Since 2005, CWB has partnered with Uganda Cricket Association in Teacher Coach Training and coaching of students/pupils.
Last weekend saw the CWB training weekend hosted by the Finham Park School in Coventry. Over the course of a very busy weekend the 40 volunteers not only met their fellow team-mates for the first time, but were given plenty of information about what awaits them on the projects as well as being assigned key roles. This meant that the weekend took the form of a mix of practical coaching sessions (ably led by tutor Rich Davies and Dan Feist) and class-room learning and group activities.
Last year Cricket Without Boundaries (CWB) coached 50,000 children and trained over 500 adults as coaches in Africa.
Now we are looking for enthusiastic volunteers help them continue developing cricket and raising HIV/AIDS awareness on projects in Autumn 2015 and Spring 2016.
CWB is returning to Cameroon, Botswana, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and we want to hear from people from all backgrounds, whether you are a qualified cricket coach or not.
Preparations for my trip to Kenya haven't gone too smoothly this month, but I am nearly there. Since the Natwest Women's Series against India has finished, I have spent 4 weeks on a placement with Sky Sports Cricket. I thoroughly enjoyed my time there and gained some valuable experience in the world of television. However, this also gave me some contacts to add some prizes to my raffle such as signed memorabilia from Shaun Pollock, Allan Donald and all the Sky Test commentators.
During my placement, I applied for my Kenya visa by post. However, when after two weeks my application and more importantly passport hadn't been returned, I rang up to see what had happened. To my horror they had never received my application so off to the passport office it was. After an appointment at 7.30am, 3 days and not to mention a large some of money later, a shiny new passport arrived in the post. I was glad to see the post was still working.