Making a lasting difference
During our time here, the three of us from Arsenal are hoping to help Volunteer Uganda set up a programme that will last much longer than the three month duration of our stay. Everyone we’ve met here has been extremely responsive to what we’ve been doing, so it would be a huge shame if this partnership didn’t continue long into the future.
As well as donating the Arsenal footballs made by Alive and Kicking and giving out lots of Arsenal kits, we wanted to ensure we left something small but tangible and that would benefit the community of which we had become a part.
Kazuru Playground, the nearest pitch to the lodge (and home of ‘Monday Night Football’, the weekly kick around with the local kids) just had goals made from branches stuck in the ground. That was fine for eleven-a-side matches but often we would see smaller numbers playing a match. We figured that if we made a goal that could be moved, they could change the size of the pitch. So that’s exactly what we did!
American Rob, Jesper and I bought some wood, then asked Mzee John (one of VU’s Ugandan staff) for some of his tools. We headed to the pitch and using our machete skills (or panga as it’s known here), set about our task. We struggled valiantly, but Mzee quite astutely sent two of his sons down to help us. To say work progressed more quickly from this point on would be a huge understatement. We consoled ourselves with the thought that these guys were practically born with a panga in their hands!
Anyway, despite carpentry with machetes not being our strong point, we achieved our goal. GOAL – get it?! Badum tish!