Why I volunteer with Cricket Without Boundaries Liam Burnell - CWB Volunteer

Hi, I'm Liam, and this is the story of why I volunteer with Cricket Without Boundaries...

I stumbled across the charity whilst searching on the internet for information on cricket coaching opportunities in Africa - something I've always wanted to do. CWB was one of the first pages to come up, and from there I continued to follow the charity.

The idea that CWB combined this with HIV/AIDs awareness really captured my attention. I saw the project as a chance to do something for those less fortunate than ourselves.

The rest, they say, is history!

To raise money for the trip I did a few things, including sales of wristbands and donations from friends and family. However, my main fundraising came in the form of a fancy dress cricket match that took place at my club, Steeple Langford. We had a BBQ, and the bar was open in order to raise money on top of the game itself. It was a huge success, although bad light did mean play was taken into the bar...

Another good technique was to sign off my emails with a short blurb and a text donation number - it helped to get a few lecturers to donate off the back of a few emails!

If I were to describe my first CWB trip in three words, they'd have to be:

Chaos.

Smiles.

Memories.

The coaching side of it all was incredible, particularly with the older kids, such as those at King David's and FAWE. The HIV messages clearly made an impact, and the fact they wanted to know how they could play more cricket was particularly rewarding.

Although, I do have to admit, when asking a kid called Moses what he'd learnt from the session, his response of 'We must abstain from sexy' in broken English will definitely stick with me!

And the biggest challenge was leaving the kids after a session...it was hard to pull yourself away from their enthusiasm and smiles!

The beauty of Rwanda is so striking. The people, the landscape, the wildlife. More recent history is deceptive, and when you get there, all you'll get is welcoming smiles! You won't feel safer anywhere else, and the things that happen 'after dark' will be remembered!

My advice to potential volunteers: Don't miss out! Chances are you'll regret it if you do. The memories you take away from a trip will last you a lifetime, and the reward you'll get from a CWB trip are amazing. Embrace the local methods of doing things and make sure you get stuck in.

A whole new family awaits!

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