Featuring crowds of enthusiastic children, heart-breaking HIV/AIDS stories and more than a little thinking on our feet, the Autumn 2013 Uganda project was, quite simply incredible.
When I first heard about Cricket Without Boundaries, CWB, I was intrigued and interested but this was tempered with a hint of caution or maybe even scepticism.
Cricket Without Boundaries has been buoyed by a tremendous donation from the Red Snapper Group. Red Snapper contributed £10,000 towards the charity and is now proudly showing off its association with CWB via the company website with the CWB logo prominently displayed to all visitors.
Cricket without Boundaries has partnered with eBay Charity giving to allow our supporters to sell items on eBay and donate between 10% and 100% of the sale price. You'll get a fee credit on your eBay listing fees, and your donation will be collected automatically 3 weeks after your item sells.
Last month I announced to the World via Twitter that I finally knew my status.
This wasn't my relationship status, or my Facebook status but in fact my HIV status. After years of telling anyone who would listen about the importance of regular HIV testing, I finally took a test myself!
2013 marks the third consecutive year in which Cricket Without Boundaries has benefited from the generous support of the Woodward Charitable Trust. The trust is one of the Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts and generally supports small to medium sized charities across a number of areas including community and social welfare, the arts, environment and education. The money received from the trust has been directed towards projects in Rwanda, and have helped make the visits to that country some of CWB's most effective and memorable.
CWB's work in Rwanda and Kenya will continue between projects after the charity appointed its first ever ambassadors.
The three coaches – two in Rwanda and one in Kenya - will be employed by their country's cricket associations through grant money supplied by CWB.
They will work in schools, universities and orphanages, coaching cricket with an emphasis on HIV/AIDS education.
David Murray joins us in the new year as the Charity's first CEO, after four years as Chief Executive at The Green Party - where he oversaw rapid growth of the party's membership and fundraising, and it's breakthrough into the UK parliament in the 2010 general election.
Speaking about his appointment, David said ''I am really excited about this appointment and feel privileged to have the opportunity to take such a fantastic charity onwards in its continued development. I want to help Cricket Without Boundaries to meet its ambitions to expand its operations to cover all of Sub-Saharan Africa so that we can reach many thousands more who are affected by HIV in their communities.''
With just over 6 weeks to go till Xmas, now is as good as any time to reflect on CWB's efforts over the last 6 months.
We had volunteers going out on trips to Uganda, Kenya, Botswana and Rwanda, in the process coaching over 15,000 African children and training several hundred new coaches. That is almost 25,000 coached this year, a record for CWB.
Cricket Without Boundaries is striving to promote open, positive and informed conversations about HIV. Whether you are learning about HIV, living in communities affected by HIV or suffering from HIV, we are championing positive responses.
New CWB chief executive David Murray says he can't wait to begin his first project in Africa after attending the recent training weekend in Coventry.
The 32-year-old, who started his role at the turn of the year, joined more than 40 other volunteers at Finham Park School, in preparation for his upcoming trips to Kenya and Rwanda.