- Len Hill, Martin Boyce, Steve Goodall
- We are three guys from the Isle of Wight that are flying to South Africa to work alongside other football fanatics as part of an organisation known as Lionsraw. South Africa 2010 is the debut Lionsraw Special Project. Lionsraw is taking a 130 strong squad of football fans to Durban, South Africa for two weeks during the World Cup. The Lionsraw team will operate in ‘The Valley of a Thousand Hills'', the epicentre of the World's HIV / AIDS crisis. Alongside existing local charities the team will help in ‘construction projects' and ‘soccer academies' for deprived local children during the day. Each evening the squad will retire to our fanzone for the full world cup tour experience.
Tuesday, 15 June 2010
Day 2 at the Orphanage
Today we were joined by reinforcements including our Team Leader, Phil, and three proper bricklayers. They were mercifully kind when surveying our efforts from the first day and immediately set about getting everything on track. We learnt all sorts of tricks of the trade that I mustn’t share with you, but suffice it to say we managed a lot more mugs of tea!
The building is really starting to take shape, with all the doors and windows in position. Tomorrow is a rest day, but the brickies are confident that they’ll get most of the blockwork completed before the weekend.
As well as extra trowels, the new arrivals also brought the English weather with them – today was wet, windy and overcast. Focussing on the positives, the valley was much clearer and we still have plenty of sun block left for the rest of our stay.
With the building professionals on-site, Len and Steve have been busy demonstrating their own skills. Len spent some time this morning breathing life into the elderly laptop which has been donated to Russell through Lionsraw. Steve has been reviewing fire safety and has committed to providing smoke alarms for each building.
It has been fantastic to see all the Lionsraw volunteers arriving – the team from the USA flew in today and we now have all the projects running. Despite the poor weather, the soccer schools continue to attract hoards of kids who just love to kick a ball around with the England football fans.
Today ended with hot chocolate and cakes with Russell, Precious and all the kids, which was beautiful. We’re starting to get to know the family better and understand the fantastic work that Russell and Precious are doing to bring up each and every one of the kids in such a loving environment. We’re also learning how we can make a huge difference with really quite small amounts. It costs just £20 a month to sponsor one of the kids at Sithembakuye. An entire school uniform costs about £25. The gas ran out today and we had a whip-round amongst the team and bought Russell the biggest gas bottle he’d ever seen. This should last them about three months – longer if we sort out the electrics in the main house while we’re here.