Back in June, we told you about Jeff Myers, a U of R student who was travelling to Zimbabwe Africa, to volunteer at Far and Wide, an outdoor adventure camp. Jeff wanted to think of a way to help out children where he was travelling, and decided to bring as many soccer balls as possible to give to children in need.
With donations from the Lakeview Community Association, South Zone indoor soccer, and Regina sport, as well as donations from his friends and family, Jeff was able to fulfill his goal, and returned from Africa this past August. Here is his story about his experience and how your donations helped.
My first opportunity to present the gifts from Canada came with a visit to the Mutarazi Falls school, a short drive from the Far and Wide camp. The elementary school, for children grades 1 to 7, was quite different from what I expected. The students were extremely polite and friendly, which I noticed was nothing less than the norm for Zimbabweans.
Despite being a bit shy towards us strangers from across the world, the duffel bags full of soccer balls and schools supplies quickly alleviated any feelings of apprehensiveness. I was told all I needed as soon as I saw the grins on the faces of the students. It was at this point in time that I knew all the work I did raising these donations was ultimately worth the cause.
I still can’t accurately describe the tremendous positive feelings I was getting at that point in time. The school is now using the donations to be able to provide just that much more to the student’s recreational time.
The other donation came upon our visit to the open house at the Peterhouse school for primary and secondary students, near the capital city of Harare. A group from St. Francis, a nearby school for primary students, was attending the festivities and had a very interesting story to share.
Over the years, the school of 400+ students had gone from having “enough” to merely a single soccer ball, to be shared between all students. With approximately 15 balls and our pump still left, the group representing the school was sent home with the remainder of our donations, increasing their soccer ball supply more than tenfold.
All in all, I can’t express just how much of a rewarding experience this was. I want to express my sincere thanks to everyone who donated to my cause. Know that you have made the day of not just one child, but many. They will hopefully have use of these items for years to come, and will be reminded that there is more to life than they may be initially presented with – they are only kids and as such should still be able to behave like one, right?
Thanks again to all those involved, I say let’s do it again sometime!
Congratulations Jeff on organizing such a worthwhile cause!
Photo via Jeff Myers