Juggling in dark

Another early start following a late finish was on the cards today. Stumps, bat and ball still in reception and a reminder that Richard ended a moderate innings not out overnight.

We left our hotel towards Nacho School which would host Bamenda’s first Cricket Festival, sadly without Greg who left the team to end an amazing 9 week trip in Africa including 3 projects with CWB.

The organisation paid off as 5 Schools took part in what became a very competitive festival. The lesson learnt was that juggling lots of balls is very difficult, it’s impossible to juggle if you can’t see the balls. Therefore forward planing is a key element to success. The festival progressed and a playing field which was empty on arrival now had over 100 very excited, passionate and loud children on it.

IMG_2605

All the schools were well represented and all that took part can be proud of their efforts. Congratulation to Trinity school who were declared the winners and it was noted that they played in the sprit of cricket.

At times during this project I’ve questioned if we can really make a difference. That we can’t win the educational battle of cementing an understanding of Aids and HIV awareness and I questioned – why do we try? The answer came days later – because victory is so much sweeter when the odds are stacked against you.

The people in team Roon are an amazing bunch and it’s clear to me they are all winners and as the two weeks reaches a close it seems to me we are in the minority of organisations delivering Aids HIV awareness messages the level of education that these children receive on this most important of issues is patchy at best. So I find it a wonderful thing that although the contact time with each child is minimal the ones we meet again now later in the week at the festival have a increase in education relating the A, B, C and T message.

IMG_2491

Deborah and Matthew have been gathering data to complete an impact assessment, a really interesting process. I wrote in an earlier blog that the team looked forward to the results, here are a few responses they captured from today’s festival:

‘I really like batting and making new friends’
Faith Nanje, age 14, Cameroon College of Commerce

‘Yes, I like the festival, it makes me happy to compete with other schools so you know how your school is doing’
Leonard Ngwa, age 16. Trinity School

‘I liked the day because I exercised my body and I learned about HIV/AIDS’
Tabah Ruthder, age 13. Longla College

‘I love cricket I want to go into a team’
Julius Osong, age 18. Nacho College

So there are strong signs that mixing sport while delivering important messages works. If we have influenced 1 child’s mind, put a smile on faces and everyone has had fun then the the trip was completely worthwhile and I hope that it’s understood the great work that CWB performs.

IMG_2536

‘There’s a greater capacity to be better together then we are alone’

Lunch was interesting with a full and impressive menu, although there was a wait for the food time flew with good conversation and nice decor and we were lucky to meet some English and American girls who are also doing some great work in the area.

In two weeks we have coached 3600 Children, worked with over 50 teachers of which 30 received an introduction to cricket level certificate. A really great achievement for the team.

My final comment, don’t do what everyone else does and expect to achieve better then average results.