As the Premier League football season closes, attention (in the UK at least) turns to cricket for the next few months with England playing New Zealand and Australia in Test matches this summer, along with the ICC Champions trophy.
So with cricket enjoying the media spotlight, it is as a good a time as ever to update you with what CWB has been up to for the first part of this year.
CWB are delighted to announce that we have been chosen as the Charity of the year by two organisations.
North Nibley Cricket Club, situated on the edge of the Cotswolds, have chosen CWB to raise funds for projects in Africa. Andy Kinnear said "As a club we were looking for a way in which we could partner with clubs in the developing world. During this search I came across the work of CWB and was immediately struck by the real difference they are making in Africa. There is a lot of enthusiasm to support CWB in our club, and we are looking forward to get started with our fundraising efforts". It is also hoped that members of the club will volunteer on future volunteer projects.
'A-B-C', the mantra that will have left an indelible mark on the memory of every CWB volunteer past or present. 'A' of course stands for 'Abstain', 'B' for 'Be faithful to one partner' and 'C' which is articulated as 'use protection'. At CWB the protection referred to is specifically 'condoms' though elsewhere it has been replaced with 'circumcision'.
CWB volunteers can now donate an unlimited amount of cricket equipment to people in developing countries thanks to a new partnership with LV= SOS Kit Aid.
At the click of a button people can arrange to have their old kit picked up from their home, school or club and delivered to places all over the world including CWB project countries Botswana, Cameroon, Kenya and Uganda.
Laura a first time CWB volunteer reflects on her CWB experience, an amazing two weeks spent in Northern Uganda.
After a cold beer in the hotel in Arua, my excitement levels were running high. I could tell from the faces of the other Cricket Without Boundaries (CWB) volunteers that they were feeling the same. The beer was well deserved as the journey didn't get off to a great start. Two hours in to a ten hour bus ride to our hotel a police officer confiscated our license plates and sent us off to a garage over the road to fix a wheel alignment issue. While waiting we were approached by market sellers offering a range of produce; from straw hats to mangoes... definitely an introduction to Africa!
CWB is a charity that tries to use Cricket to raise HIV/AIDS awareness in some of the poorest parts of the world, where the infection rates are on an epidemic scale. A significant part of the problem is that women are treated as second class citizens, both economically and sexually. Since CWB was founded in 2005 one of the key parts has been to ensure that boys and girls play together so that they are more likely to see each other as equals.
The Duchess of Rutland is to join Cricket Without Boundaries for its upcoming project in Rwanda.
Her Grace will play a full part in the trip; coaching children in schools and orphanages, training new coaches and delivering vital HIV/AIDS awareness messages.
Encouraging people to get regular HIV/AIDS tests and to know their status is an integral part of Cricket Without Boundaries' work in Africa
In October 2012 a schools cricket festival in Laikipia, Kenya, became the first CWB event to have voluntary testing tents present at the side of the pitch. This resulted in an incredible 3200% increase in the number of people – mainly children - getting tested compared to a normal day in a clinic. This was something the local nurses put down to reducing the stigma around testing.
There is now less than two weeks to go until the first CWB trip of 2013 heads out to Africa.
And having overcome late January's wintry weather, all 26 new volunteers showed they are more than ready for the adventure ahead during a fantastic training weekend at Finham Park School in Coventry.
Rwanda 2012 volunteer Jules Farman reflects on her trip a few months on and the impact it has back in England. A truly great volunteer story and we are very proud to have her on board!
'It was on the final morning when Team CWB Rwanda 2012 said goodbye to the two main coaches, Eric and Ange, from the Rwanda Cricket Association. We had been working with them throughout our time there in Rwanda and they were going off to do further coaching that afternoon and it then hit me what a fantastic experience it had been. During the two weeks out there, we were getting up early, travelling around the country, coaching all day and spending the evenings planning for the next day over some massive Mutzigs. We didn’t really get the opportunity to take in what had happened. It was only really on the plane journey back we all got the chance to reflect.
First time CWB volunteer Annabel Kibble talks about how she made the most of her volunteering days from the Body Shop to volunteer on the first CWB trip to Cameroon.
'In November, I used my Volunteering Days to travel out to Cameroon in Africa on a two week project with amazing HIV/Aids Charity Cricket Without Boundaries (CWB).
CWB are very saddened to hear news of the death of Peter Jamieson in December. Peter's father David is a CWB Alumni, having travelled to Kenya on a project in Spring 2012.
Peter's very unexpected and sudden death have left his family and friends heartbroken, but as testament to his memory the family have set up a memorial fund of which CWB will be the beneﬁciary.
It was a hectic festive period for CWB as we featured on BBC's Five Live and breakfast shows, thanks to Midlands journalist, Phil Mackie. If you missed the pieces, here is a recap of the media coverage we have enjoyed in winter 2012.
The idea was conceived a while ago by Phil, as he saw an opportunity to delve deeper into the charity and also highlight the work in Rwanda and Kenya. The end result was fantastic reflecting the hard work that had been put into the charity but also the effectiveness of the message that our volunteers are always looking to put across.