After talking to a few people, I felt I should update the blog with our activities and then try to update more regularly! The last 4 months have been busy just like most of the last year so writing updates at the weekend can be a little tough, but not one to shy away from a challenge will give it a blast. So to update you since June 30th 2013….keeping it short enough so you don’t get bored….
TSC Sport Academy – I’ve been super busy developing our work at the academy and making things continue to run smoothly! Have you checked out our new website….? http://www.tscacademy.org – thanks to Tom Blundell of blundelli for helping with it! Check out the screenshot below for a taster of this super looking website, still under development in places…!
I’ve also been busy looking at new projects for the academy. I am so thankful to announce that through our partnership with SCWC we will be receiving funding for the next 2 years from BT Sport and Comic Relief as part of the new BT Supporters Club initiative. As part of this we had a special visit over the summer from a film crew along with Cameroon international and Tottenham, now on loan at QPR defender Benoit Assou-Ekotto and UK comedian and presenter Nick Hancock to make a 30 minute documentary called “Street Child to Soccer Star”.
It has been airing on BT Sport 1/HD recently and has been a huge hit, being the most watched programme on the day it aired. Check out the trailer for it below (if you haven’t already from all my facebook posts!) This has been a huge boost for the project and our aim of advocacy for street children’s rights with this programme showing to millions they are talented children who have just had the wrong circumstances. Both Assou-Ekotto and Nick Hancock were cool guys and I enjoyed having them here. Please continue to share this programme and about TSC Academy.
Rwanda – Take 3!
After both taking very brief work trips to Rwanda, we decided we wanted a proper holiday to check out what Rwanda has to offer. We took a 12hour drive from Mwanza to Kigali (not via Bukoba this time like my bus trip!) which was fine and the border presented no issues, taking just 15 minutes to get all the documents for us and the car sorted. While there we spent 2 days in Kigali, enjoying civilisation, shopping centres and nice food. We also visited the Genocide museum which was sobering to find out what happened in 1994. We then went on to the North to visit the Virunga volcanoes, home to the mountain gorillas. Unfortunately we couldn’t quite afford the $500 permit to see them so opted for the $60 hike up Mt Bisoke, this was a really hard but cool hike with a rewarding view of a crater lake at the top (pic). On the way down we were so lucky to see a group of 7 rare mountain gorillas, including young and a silverback. The guide claimed only 2% of people on the Bisoke trek see the gorillas but I’d say its closer to 30% so could be worth a shot if you can’t afford to see them, want to give it a go and won’t be disappointed if you don’t see them. Plus you get the achievement of having climbed a 3,711m volcano.
We then moved on to Gisenyi on Lake Kivu and I have to take a moment to say what a great place to stay INZU Lodge is. Its just outside Gisenyi on the lake and is a great place to relax and serves incredible food – huge fruit breakfasts and evening meals out of banana leaves! Here we visited tea plantations, visited the DRC (Congo) border, and did some walks up and down the rolling hills. We then moved onto Kibuye, probably not worth the visit after being in Gisenye and then back to Kigali where I was unfortunately sick, followed by Naomi . This meant we didn’t make it to the cinema – something we don’t have in Mwanza! The drive back was long and not helped by a 2 hour traffic jam just as we thought we were back in Mwanza!
UK Trip – September 2013
Late September, I was grateful for the opportunity to attend the Street Child World Cup (SCWC) Leaders Conference in Cambridge. This was a great chance to meet all the different team leaders who will be bringing the teams to Rio next year. The SCWC team also took it as the opportunity to serve us as local workers and give us the chance to rest. I really appreciated this and it was a great expression of the love and care shown, Street Child World Cup are truly a great organisation to be part of. We found out more details about what will be happening in Rio and were part of a 3 day conference on working with street connected children. Cambridge was a lovely city to explore (my 1st time there) and was followed by a 1 day trip to London to meet volunteers serving in Rio 2014 and for me a Priority service passport appointment to renew my soon expiring documents! Then it was back to Derby to see my family for a valuable 3 days, including seeing Derby County’s 4-4 draw with Ipswich and eating some quality steak and chips (with an oversized knife) before heading back on the Qatar airways dreamliner to Mwanza.
So they are the highlights to catch up from, in other news we have: got a tv installed in our house, Naomi has become head of 6th form, getting more involved in things at our church (KVCC), enjoyed going to our homegroup, got new smartphones (Samsung Galaxy S3 & S3 mini), welcomed new teachers at school, found a great street mishkaki place to frequent, and many other things I can’t remember due to my rubbish memory – a good reason to keep updating this regularly so I remember what we do!
Hope you enjoyed that little update – sorry we have not forgotten you all!