This September/October a team of 10 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 northern district of Musanze before making their way to Kigali, via Gitarama working in schools and orphanages using cricket to promote healthy lifestyle messages around HIV while promoting the game.

Jack Vittles – New Volunteer

Nickname? JV or Vittles

How did you hear about CWB? In my old job as a journalist I would have to spend hours trawling Twitter for the latest news and updates. One happy consequence of this boring requirement was coming across CWB on my timeline. After a quick scan of the website I was hooked and knew I wanted to be involved, so I started working out exactly how I could be on their next trip.

How have you achieved your fundraising target? The usual – begging, stealing and borrowing….. but I did do the Great North Run in early September too.

Why Rwanda? I studied history at University and before looking into CWB, Rwanda was just a war to me. I’m intrigued and excited to see how the country has recovered in the 25 years since the Genocide and to learn a little about why it happened. It’s also supposed to be breathtakingly beautiful… so that helps!

Hopes for the Project? I genuinely don’t know. I’m not really sure what to expect, but hope that as well as enjoying myself I can actually make myself useful to my team and the children we’ll be meeting. 

Joe Chaplin – New Volunteer

Nickname? Joe, Joemie, J-Chapz, Average

How did you hear about CWB? I heard about the charity on a podcast a couple of years ago (either TMS or the World Cricket Show) and heard about this year’s projects via a poster in my wife’s office

How have you achieved your fundraising target? I’ve been doing a running challenge for sponsorship – I ran the distance of every run scored in this summer’s World Cup (over 450km) and then did the Ireland test matches and Ashes too for good measure. (“Utter Madness” – Country Manager)

Why Rwanda? It’s a country I’ve been keen to visit for a long time, since researching and writing an essay about the history at uni. Can’t wait to visit!

Hopes for the Project? I’m really looking forward to working with all the children we will be coaching. A love of cricket is infectious and I’m really hoping to inspire some new players, alongside delivering the important messages we are there to share. 

Sam Manning – New Volunteer

Nickname? Manning, Scoobs, One-Can Sam

How did you hear about CWB? Hearing about Dads trips over the years. Always wanted a slice of the action.

How did you achieve your fundraising target? Car Washing, selling Krispy Kreme doughnuts at school and wristbands at the pub I work in.

Why Rwanda? I would like to see what it’s like after all I’ve heard and spend a couple of weeks road tripping with the Old Man.

Hopes for the Project? To come back a more mature person because even though I’m technically an adult, I have the mind and thoughts of a 7 year old. (“Agreed” – Country Manager)

Simon Joy – New Volunteer

Nickname? I’ve had several over the years including Si-Borg and Simon the Pieman, I just prefer to be known as Si though!

How did you hear about CWB? Through an email from my University cricket club – someone had taken part in it previously and I fancied the opportunity!

How have you achieved your fundraising target? I originally set out to run the Edinburgh half marathon and do all sorts of cricketing physical tasks over the summer but I got injured! Got by through selling wristbands to friends and other people from my local club in Scotland. In addition my mates at university contributed to a group fund to help raise a hundred quid and my family were very kind in giving some money.

Why Rwanda? What appealed to me about Rwanda more than anything else is that I’ve already learned a lot about the country and it’s recent history. While the genocide and violence which marred the country following independence is something that I’ve learned a lot about in lecture theatres, I don’t believe that a country should be defined by certain events and I want to explore the culture to see beyond what I have learned about the country.

Hopes for the Project? I really want to see the country beyond what I’ve learned through reading books by historians. I also want to help spread a very important social message through coaching cricket to different communities across Rwanda. I guess the cherry on the top of the cake for me would be if someone came along who could help me improve my batting! 

Ali McCreedy – Returning Volunteer

Nickname? Ali

How did you hear about CWB? I heard about CWB from friends who had volunteered in the past.

How have you achieved your fundraising target? My fundraising has been from a big raffle, and from very generous friends.

Why Rwanda? Having visited the other two countries where CWB is active in east Africa, it seemed like a good idea to do all three.

Hopes for the Project? I hope to be able to make a difference to the children we work with by helping them have fun with cricket, and reinforcing their healthcare knowledge. I’m really looking forward to be part of a team again, and of course having the chance to see a new country.

Danny Mines – Returning Volunteer

Nickname? Minesey, Milnes

How did you hear about CWB? Scrolling though twitter a few years ago, liked what I saw and signed up.

How have you achieved your fundraising target? Generous donations, events at work and the club

Why Rwanda? I went 18 months ago with CWB, it’s an amazing country and I want to see the development.

Hopes for the Project? To educate as many people of possible, bring cricket to new areas of the country, help grow the game in existing places and meet new people.

Ella Chandler – Returning Volunteer

Nickname? Bells/Els

How did you hear about CWB?
Through Hampshire Cricket and a friend volunteering.

How have you achieved your fundraising target? Our annual curry night at Aldershot Cricket club, where all the funds raised go directly to CWB.

Why Rwanda? I volunteered last year and was totally encapsulated by the people & stories behind them. I couldn’t not come back to see the friendly faces, inspirational people & beautiful scenery!

Hopes for the Project? I hope to meet a new group of lifetime friends, work with more young adults to raise awareness on so many challenging subjects including HIV. I’m also hoping to continue my role as chief morale booster this trip!

Ed Lamb – Returning Volunteer

Nickname? Cuddles or Steady / Ed

How did you hear about CWB? In 2016 I watched the film Warriors (about the Maasai’s use of cricket to combat FGM) and was really inspired by it so stayed to watch the credits (something I’d never normally do).   I saw Cricket Without Boundaries flash up so I checked out the website and ended up volunteering for trips.

How have you achieved your fundraising?This is my fourth trip with CWB and I didn’t feel I could ask friends for more donations (given that my four trips have been within 2 years!), but I’ve been leafleting for a local company for a year now and putting the money straight to CWB and that has more than funded this one.

Why Rwanda? Partly to complete the East Africa set of Kenya, Uganda & Rwanda, but it’s more than that – the country looks so beautiful and I’ve heard such good things. 

Hopes for the Project? Having done these before I know that there are feelings you get on a CWB trip that are impossible to replicate in UK life – I can’t wait to experience those feelings again!  

Watching how happy the kids are playing cricket and engaging with the health messaging we do just makes my heart melt every time.   It puts UK life in perspective and it sounds twee, but I hope I can make a positive difference to some of their lives, however small.   The other thing that a CWB trip does is it brings you together with strangers and within 48 hours you’re working together as a tight team. I’ve made friends for life on CWB trips and I’m sure the Rwanda trip will be the same.

Tracey Francis – CWB Trustee

Nickname? ‘Tinks’ AKA Tinkerbell

How did you hear about CWB? Andy and Ed (CWB Founders) were at University in Nottingham,& to top up their grant they joined the Nottingham City Council Sports Development Team as Cricket Coaches, More recently both Andy and I worked in Cricket, and the trustees approached me to support their charity as a trustee as I had led the ‘Trent Bridge Community Trust’ for the past 8 years.

How have you achieved your fundraising target? I am a late addition to the Rwanda Trip, I have chosen to cover the trip costs myself, and have also raised an additional £150. I have set a challenge to my work colleagues to bring in their used trainers, and I am working with a local primary school to donate tennis balls, in addition I have cricket kit to bring with me.

Why Rwanda? As a new trustee to CWB I particularly wanted to see how the charity operates on the ground, my role is to support the ‘delivery group’ and of course the programmes internationally, the management group thought this would be a good project for me to cut my teeth on, and I have heard that the Rwanda Volunteers and the country manager are the best !!!
(“Agreed” – Country Manager)

Hopes for the Project? To make a difference, to leave a legacy, to understand the drivers and aspirations of our volunteers and to make their experience the best it can be, and to thank them for their support. Personally it’s a journey of discovery for me, and to use this experience to understand how my role as trustee can serve CWB to the best of my ability. Of course finally TO HAVE FUN! And put smiles on kid’s faces

Thom Manning – Rwanda Country Manager & Project Lead

Nickname? Captain Slappy, Papa G, T, Mango.

How did you hear about CWB? Radio 5 Live documentary about 6 years ago whilst washing up! (Avoiding Christmas Eastenders!)

How have you achieved your fundraising target? Joint fundraising with Sam. We’ve done car washing, a World Cup Sweepstake, a Race Night, sold wristbands, sold doughnuts and have had some very generous individual donations.

Why Rwanda? I am the CWB Country Manager! My third visit to Rwanda and my fifth CWB project. Rwanda is just so stunningly beautiful and the people are awesome.

Hopes for the Project? Really pleased to be travelling with my son. When I returned from my first project in 2013 I said to him that one day we would go together. This is it! Also looking forward to visiting a new location and revisiting familiar schools and catching up with the many friends I’ve made over the years.

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