This September a team of 9 volunteers from the UK will once again be travelling to Rwanda on behalf of Cricket Without Boundaries. The two week project will see the team in the southern district of Huye before travelling east to Kayonza and finishing in the capital Kigali working in schools and orphanages using cricket to promote healthy lifestyle messages around HIV while promoting the game.
Jhon Cosgrove – New Volunteer
Age – 34 going on 12
Lives – Petersfield
How did you hear about CWB? – Through cricket coach education courses in Hampshire.. and then heard an interview on TMS and I thought – this is for me, it’s fate!
What have you done to raise funds? – I made up a fictional alter-ego called the Marmalade Pope & used my social media skills to set up a crowdfunding campaign and promote it super hard. People could donate and get such things as Pope tees & bags and custom raps written by me (I can’t rap). I also did a more traditional charity cricket match.
Why Rwanda? – I’ve always wanted to go to Rwanda & have heard great things about the country and the people. I know that the nation is full of keen cricketers and I have been trying to follow their national side.
Hopes for the trip? – To help teach HIV & AIDS awareness and some cricket skills to lots of people… but also to have a great time, meet loads of new people and hopefully learn a lot about life & such from the people I meet. Can’t wait to get out there and get started!
Iain Martin – New Volunteer
Age – 28
Lives – London
How did you hear about CWB? – A re-tweet in January earlier this year, which led to an excursion to the volunteer application form via the CWB website.
What have you done to raise funds? – A combination of nagging friends/family, selling passable baked goods and organising a Charity Pub Quiz. The quiz raised over £400 but was a little more work than I had bargained for, especially given I had a momentary lapse in common sense and decided to write the quiz from scratch. Though this did allow for rather more Rwanda based questions than one would expect from an off the shelf job.
Why Rwanda? – It was the first available trip, but I suspect even if I had adopted a more discerning approach I’d still have chosen it, the well documented struggles makes the challenge even greater.
Hopes for the trip? To open my eyes, make even a tiny difference to a life and to challenge myself to think a little differently. I’d also like to have some fun in the process.
Rob Ayerst – New Volunteer
Age – 37
Lives – Bristol
How did you hear about CWB? – Thom (the country manager for Rwanda) and I are work colleagues (alright and pals), and after hearing about CWB (a lot), I was really keen (forced) to get involved.
What have you done to raise funds? – We are holding a race night and raffle at a local cricket club, and a bit of badgering of friends and family…hoping to get a couple of sponsored runs in before we go.
Why Rwanda? – Primarily to join Thom and carry his bags in his first venture as country manager, and also reading the experiences of previous CWB volunteers, who all had such great things to say about the people and the beautiful landscape.
Hopes for the trip? – Hopefully to make lots of kids smile, learn more about a new country and culture, and have lots of laughs along the way with new people. Hopefully this will be the start of a long involvement with the charity.
Suresh Thalange – Return Volunteer
Age – 51
Lives – Leicestershire
How did you hear about CWB? – a long time ago through an ECB website
What have you done to raise funds? – running, growing a beard, blagging
Why Rwanda? – reading Gorillas in the mist and meeting a girl on a plane who was travelling to Rwanda to see them a very long time ago. Seeing a country ravaged by civil war rebuild
Hopes for the trip? – for the kids we coach to have a great time and see AIDS/HIV with new perspectives
Claire Hall – New Volunteer
Age – Unknown?
Lives – Kingston upon Thames
How did you hear about CWB? – Through a CWB volunteer
What have you done to raise funds? – Badgered friends, family and colleagues to sponsor me to run a half marathon
Why Rwanda? – heard great things about the country and the people
Hopes for the trip? – meet new people and learn about a new culture, have fun, hopefully make lots of kids smile and make a small difference to their lives
Sarah Barrell (always known as Sally) – New Volunteer
Age – 62
Lives – outside Ludlow in Shropshire in a small village called Bedlam
How did you hear about CWB? – Internet
What have you done to raise funds? – Had extremely generous friends and family with a coffee morning organised by a friend. Organisations prepared to publicise the trip on their web sites and sponsorship from companies and individuals with shirts and kit.
Why Rwanda? – I had heard it was a very beautiful place and thought it would be an experience I would not forget
Hopes for the trip? – To do something worthwhile whilst travelling and seeing and meeting new people. The start of a longer relationship with Rwanda possibly.
Hope Dear – New Volunteer
Age – 21
Lives – Surrey, London
How did you hear about CWB? – through my local cricket club (Claygate Cricket Club)
What have you done to raise funds? – I have done Quiz nights and raffles
Why Rwanda? – because it is a beautiful country and can’t wait for the experience
Hopes for the trip? – to try and make a difference and impact on the young people’s lives I will encounter along the way
Bob Hopkins – CWB HIV Lead for Rwanda
Age – Old! (Actually 63 but the last CWB trip I did was with a 64 year old so I guess I’m still a youngster)
Lives– A village called Hurstpierpoint, in West Sussex
How did you hear about CWB? – Through a member of my cricket club who was going on a project but sadly died before he could go
What have you done to raise funds? – Personal donations
Why Rwanda? – Loved it last time
Hopes for the trip? – To build a robust relationship with a like-minded organisation in Rwanda and to have lots of fun!
Thom Manning – CWB Rwanda Country Manager & Project Lead
Age – 46
Lives – in a house
How did you hear about CWB? – Radio 5 Live Documentary
What have you done to raise funds? – Joint fundraising with workchum Rob to organise a Race Night and Raffle.
Why Rwanda? – I’m the Country Manager! Having visited Cameroon twice with CWB, in 2014 and 2015 the opportunity and offer to manage Rwanda for the charity came up and I jumped at the chance.
Hopes for the trip? – This is my first trip as both Country Manager and Project Lead so I’m hoping the team of volunteers have a great experience and lasting memories of this trip and I hope to make many connections in Rwanda to take forward future projects.