Aussie Mum and Daughter take soccer balls to Dhola Nepal

Aussie Mum, Marijke and daughter, Gabriella take soccer balls to Dhola Nepal

Soccer balls for Nepal

Soccer balls for Nepal

Earlier this year I was contacted by Marijke Walker from Sydney and her daughter

 
Soccer balls for Nepal

Gabriella who were going on a trip to visit a village in the mountains of Nepal.  They asked if they could take some soccer balls.  Absolutely!  This is my goal of Football – Play It Forward.

Well, Marijke and Gabriella have sent me some photos of the kids with the balls.  They also wrote me a really nice letter explaining all about their trip.  I thought I’d include it here……

Hi Mac and Sacha,

Your soccer balls have made it to Dhola Nepal!

In late October/early November, my 8 year old daughter, Gabriella, and I travelled to Nepal for a two week holiday.  As we would be trekking to a village, we only had one small bag each. However, a very important bag was also checked onto our flight…a soccer bag filled with 10 balls, 2 pumps and markers for the children in Dhola.

Dhola is a small village in the mountains in the Dhading district, about 200k from Kathmandu and in view of the high mountains. It has a population of around 5,000 people and people live there is a peaceful and quiet environment in a way unchanged for hundreds of years. People here are quite poor but most have their own vegetable gardens, others have animals, and there is a large cultivated area our young guide, Ramesh, referred to as the ‘village market’, which is shared. 

We found about Dhola through our Canadian friend, Morgan, whose father, Norman, lives in Kathmandu. Norman had met Bhim, who lives in Dhola with his wife, Juna and son, Ramesh, many years ago when Bhim was his guide on a trek in India. They have been friends ever since and Norman has done much for them including helping to build their new home and building a small toilet and shower block for the family and visitors like us to use. Norman was the one who would meet us in Dhola and bring the soccer bag on the local bus and it was Bhim’s son, Ramesh, who was our guide and translator during our two day trek from Trisuli to Dhola and whilst in the village for three nights and two days.

We met many wonderful people in Dhola and had a very happy time there.  There were people stopping by regularly to visit at Bhim and Juna’s home, including lots of children that we played games with. We planned to visit the two schools in Dhola on our last day there to take the soccer balls and tell them about Mac and your goal. Unfortunately, because of the rain, buses and trucks were not coming to Dhola so Norman also had to walk quite a distance. This meant he could not bring the soccer bag with him this time, but he promised to return to the village with it a few weeks later.

Although we didn’t have the soccer bag, Gabriella, Norman, Ramesh and I went off to the schools anyway to prepare them for the surprise.  We first visited the private school, Milan Bal Batika, as the assembly was taking place. These children learn all their lessons in English and also have a class in Nepali. They love playing sport and when I told them we were bringing soccer balls from a 10 year old boy in Australia, they were very happy.  So were the teachers at the public school of Shree Kalika that we visited next.  They told us that children finish school at the end of grade 10 and that the children learn all their classes in Nepali and English is taught as a subject only. Part of the school had been damaged by the earthquake in April 2015 but there was some building of new classrooms taking place. We enjoyed our visit to both schools and laughing with some of the children. We knew these were two deserving schools to receive your soccer balls.

Since returning to Australia, we have received a message and photos from Norman about the day he and Ramesh arrived with the soccer balls. He said that at the private school, they were garlanded and presented with flower bouquets. They expressed sincere thanks to Mac for making them recipients of his good work. The soccer balls were also well-received at the public school, with the teachers insisting on inflating the balls themselves to the delight of the children!

Mac, taking your soccer balls with us on our holiday and knowing they will be enjoyed by children in a small village in the Nepalese mountains, made our trip to Nepal even more special. It is such a special country and I hope you have the chance to visit it one day.  I hope you continue to receive support to ‘Play it Forward’, especially because we have now seen first-hand how soccer balls contribute to the fun and happiness in the lives of children in need.

Thank you Mac. We hope you like the photos too.

Kindest regards

Marijke and Gabriella Walker
Sydney, Australia
15 December 2015

Soccer balls for YAP Stars Academy – Uganda

The Rotary Club of Kampala Nsambya helps to distribute soccer balls for the YAP Stars Academy – Uganda

YAP Academy Uganda

YAP Academy Uganda

Thanks again to the Rotary Club of Kampala Nsambya for getting the soccer balls to the kids of the YAP Stars Football Academy.  Thanks also to Nash Abdul for following up and making this happen.  Thanks Guys.  Mac

 

 

Sergeant Jimmy Bellos – Bringing communities together with Football

I got to meet Sergeant Jimmy Bellos – Qld Police Cross Cultural Liaison Officer

Sgt Jimmy Bellos

Sgt Jimmy Bellos

Recently I got to meet Sergeant Jimmy Bellos from the Qld Police.  He’s the Cross Cultural Liaison Officer and works to bring together different cultural community groups with football.

Sergeant Bellos was honoured at the 2014 Queen’s birthday honours list as a recipient for the prestigious Order of Australian Medal [OAM] for ‘Service to Multicultural communities through the Queensland Police Service’.

Next year we are going to work together on the Refugee Welcome Day Football Tournament.  Can’t wait!

I’ll update my Facebook page when we have more details on dates and location.

Mac

Soccer Balls for East Timor

Thanks to the Rotary Club of Burleigh Heads for taking soccer balls to East Timor

East Timor Rotary Club of Burleigh Heads

East Timor Rotary Club of Burleigh Heads

One country nearby that we haven’t managed to get soccer balls to yet is East Timor.  But that’s about to change.  Mr Anthony Zirrili of the Rotary Club of Burleigh Heads is taking soccer balls to a school in the middle of East Timor to an area called Ossu.  I spoke at the Rotary Club of Burleigh Heads about my project Football Play It Forward over a year ago.  I’m really grateful that Anthony contacted me via my website to ask if we had some soccer balls that they could take… over to the school they are helping.  This is really what I mean by “Play It Forward”.  I really appreciate your help.  Thank you so much.  Rotary has let me ‘piggyback’ on so many of their projects and I’m really grateful.  I can’t wait to see the photos of the kids getting the balls.  I really appreciate you helping to give more kids the chance to play football.

Mac

Rotaract Club of Rivercity

Thanks for the invitation to speak at the Rotaract Club of Rivercity

Rotaract Club of Rivercity

Rotaract Club of Rivercity

Hey, last night I got to meet the guys from the Rotaract Club of Brisbane Rivercity and talk to them about my project.

Thanks so much to Riley, the president (in the picture) and Gareth and Lara.  I hope we can help with some soccer balls for the Refugee Learning Centre you support.

Thank you also to Wendy Protheroe for introducing me to the club.  I really appreciate that.

Mac

 

Royal Youth Organisation Zimbabwe

Soccer balls for the RYO Zimbabwe

RYO Zimbabwe

RYO Zimbabwe

Hi Guys, we have got more soccer balls going to Zimbabwe.  Mr Rassel from the Royal Youth Organisation in Zimbabwe is going to distribute some soccer balls for us to the kids over there.  RYO has joined together with the Nundah Activity Centre here in Brisbane so we are really happy to be able to help.  Here’s a photo of where the kids play soccer with the RYO.  I think they’ll love getting some new balls.  I’ll talk to mum about a new net too.

Mac

 

Mac to speak in the United States! Rotary World Peace Conference

Mac to speak at the Rotary World Peace Conference 2016

Some fabulous news.  Mac, at the grand old age of 12,  has been invited to speak at the Rotary International  World Peace Conference 2016 in Ontario California in January next

Rotary World Peace Conference 2016

Rotary World Peace Conference 2016

year.  He’s very excited about going to the USA, but he’s more excited about the people he’ll meet and listening to them speak!

There are some fabulous speakers and topics.  For more information about the conference click on the link: http://www.peaceconference2016.org/

50 Soccer balls for Chipinge Zimbabwe

Thank you Sister Judith for distributing the balls in Chipingne Zimbabwe

Soccer balls for Chipinge Zimbabwe

Soccer balls for Chipinge Zimbabwe

Hi Guys, a while ago, we got an email from Sister Judith in Zimbabwe.  She asked for soccer balls for the kids at her school.  I had met Sister Judith at the Rotary convention in Sydney, so was really happy to help her with some soccer balls.  Well, this week the kids from St Albertina School in Chipinge received the 50 soccer balls.  Sister Judith, said they are just so happy and other schools have asked if they could share the balls too.

I’ve just noticed they snuck in some Rugby balls too.  Hmmmmmm.  I suppose that’s okay.

Mac :)

Soccer balls for Ramata Island Solomon Islands

Ramata Island Solomon Islands

Hi Guys, my mum got a visit from Margaret Robinson who is going back to Ramata Island

Ramata Island - Solomon Islands

Ramata Island – Solomon Islands

in the Solomons.  Margaret said the kids and schools really need soccer balls so we are giving Margaret 25 soccer balls to take and some of my books too.  Here’s a picture of the boys on the soccer pitch at Ramata.

Margaret has been to Ramata Island quite a few times and with every trip they take as many goods and supplies as they can fit.

I know the kids will love the soccer balls.  Thanks so much Margaret.

Mac

Mac Millar Charity Soccer Tournament – Rotaract Club of Sunnybank

Our friends at the Rotaract Club of Sunnybank are having a soccer tournament and guess

Mac Millar Charity Soccer Tournament

Mac Millar Charity Soccer Tournament

what?? The money raised will go towards soccer balls for Football – Play It Forward.  Thanks so much Guys.

But you won’t believe it.  I can’t make it because I’m going to play football in Japan.

I plan to be at the next one.

Mac