Now that’s a pretty wild headline! But it is true:
The team comprising of former national team players arrived in Nairobi over the weekend and headed straight to Burundi to start their three nations charity tour…
Burundians welcome the team
Kids line the route to the stadium to welcome the Brazil team
The team is composed of both current and past players. The goal is to work with kids – both boys and girls – in the countries that they visit. As well, at least one game is played with the national team. Burundi was a priority country because improving the skills of young people in team work is such a very important aspect of the post-war reconstruction following the years of ‘war games’ that we are laboring for. I have been working for the past several months with the organizers – to help make this happen. And we did it! 😀
A friendly was played with the national team, and then the Brazilian squad broke up into small teams of 4-6 players, each of which spent approximately 2 hours conducting clinics with groups of young football players.
The Burundian national team & the Brazilian & Burundian teams entering the stadium, each with members of a youth team
Final score was 1-0 (Brazil-Burundi)
The team stayed at the Hotel club du lac Tanganyika, which provided superb services and also helped to sponsor training for the kids from our village of Kajaga, which is close to the hotel.
An evening at the hotel pizza bar, listening to the Congolese singer Maesha
Team members with Richard, head chef
Evelyn, Hotel staff person, with some of the players. The staff were thrilled to have the players staying at the hotel.
The last afternoon of their visit, together with the Hotel, I organized a training clinic for boys from nearby Kajaga village. This is where we have our Project for restocking and improvement of goat husbandry
and also near where I live. The villagers were really thrilled and it was a dream come true for the kids, most of whom have known nothing but war and rebel incusions until very recently.
- Kajaga team members entering, with Hotel logo shirts
- The boys were organized on the beach into a circle, for a lecture and then a series of training exercises
- Demonstrating catches which were then practiced; another group is being trained in the background. The woman on the right is Christella, who is translating from English to Kirundi.
- Villagers came to watch, as well as security from the Hotel
- Training and practicing continued well after dark, only quitting for security reasons – because the kids had to return back to the village by foot, and the players also had an engagement for dinner.
- The team left the next morning, on their way to Uganda to conduct similar training cliniques. The 3 women in the front, l to r, are the Assistant Director, the team doctor, and the photographer.
This was a very rewarding activity and I join Burundians in thanking the team for their efforts in working with young people in Africa. They are providing a beacon of hope – especially in Burundi – by contributing to peace-building efforts in their work with the upcoming generation of leaders.
The North End of Lake Tanganyika - see below notes
1 = Bujumbura, the Capital of Burundi
2 = Location of the Hotel du club du lac Tanganyika, where the team stayed & Kajaga kids trained with the team on the beach
3 = Kajaga village, where we have our livestock project. It is 10 klms. to Bujumbura from the village.
4 = Rusizi river & wetlands – fantastic wildlive, hippos, crocks, many kinds of birds, etc. The last elephant was seen 20+ yrs. ago
- Bujumbura & the lake, 10 years ago, from our project site
Kajaga is surrounded by vast rice fields, which is the major farming activity. Here, boys are collecting rice straw to be fed to the livestock. These boys took part in the training with the Brazilian team.
Main street in Kajaga village (Most folks are out working in the fields during the day, or commute into Bujumbura to day jobs)