The Spirit of Football – Play It Forward. Soccer balls for Ethiopia.
Ethiopia by Frank Eyssen

Ethiopia by Frank Eyssen

How cool is this? When I was in Shanghai I spoke at the Western International School of Shanghai (WISS).  I’ve just received this email from a gentleman called Frank Eyssen who is Belgian and lives in Shanghai: “Mac, Inspired by your presentation at the Western International School of Shanghai lately I will bring these 10 soccer balls to kids in Ethiopia tomorrow.  Keep up your great work! Frank”.

Thanks so much Frank.  This is the whole aim of what we are trying to do – inspire others to see what they can do to0.  The kids will love the balls.  Great colours too.

Kids of Uganda get soccer balls!!!!
Soccer balls for the kids of Uganda

Soccer balls for the kids of Uganda

At the Rotary International Convention in Sydney in June this year I met Nassar fromUganda and we talked about how we could get soccer balls to the kids there.  Anyway, we did it!  Thanks to Nassar and his Rotary Club of Kampala-Nsambya soccer balls have been delivered to the kids.  Thanks for the photos.  It looks like the kids will really enjoy them.

Soccer balls for the kids of Uganda

Soccer balls for the kids of Uganda

At last – soccer balls for Zimbabwe – Thank you Collin, Rotary Club of Bulawayo South and Carindale
Zimbabwe delivery of soccer balls with the help of Rotary Club of Bulawayo South

Zimbabwe delivery of soccer balls with the help of Rotary Club of Bulawayo South

The soccer balls being delivered to Tjewondo School in Zimbabwe

The soccer balls being delivered to Tjewondo School in Zimbabwe

Well, it took nearly a year, but we finally got soccer balls to the kids of Zimbabwe in Tjewondo.  This has been one of the toughest assignments with lots of challenges to get the balls delivered.  Collin Nyabadza is from Zimbabwe and lives in Canada.  He saw my project and asked for soccer balls for a school in Tjewondo where the kids have very little.  So we said we would send soccer balls from our Rotary Club fo Carindale to a Rotary club near Tjewondo.  We made contact with Sandy Whitehead from the Rotary Club of Bulawayo South and she helped to deliver the balls.  There were lots of problems because the government of Zimbabwe stopped the delivery and held it up for months and months.  But we got through in the end.  Here are some photos of the balls being delivered.  Thanks go to Collin and Sandy and the Rotary Club of Carindale here in Brisbane. 

Trip to Shanghai – 5 Days, 6 Speeches, 800 attendees

Hi GuysInteract Meeting at the HuaQiao Foundation that took me to China

I’ve just had the most amazing trip to Shanghai as the guest of President Frank Yih of the Rotary Club of Shanghai and the HuaQiao Foundation.  I had the opportunity to speak to schools as well as the Rotary Club of Shanghai, Interact Club and Rotaract Club.  I loved every second.  Shanghai is a really beautiful city with highrise building and cranes as far as  you can see.

Click here to see heaps more great photos and information about my trip:

http://www.macmillar.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Newsletter-China-Visit-Report-Oct-17-22.pdf

Discussions with HuaQiao staff re football projects in western China

Discussions with HuaQiao staff re football projects in western China

President Frank is going to help me to get soccer balls to Tibet and three provinces in western China (Qinghai, Sichuan and Henan).  The kids in these areas are really poor and President Frank said some of them would never have seen a soccer ball. Here’s a picture of us discussing how and where to send the soccer balls. But here’s something else amazing - I met Mr Randal Eastman and he helps kids in North Korea.  He is going to help me to get soccer balls in Pyongyang and the kids on North Korea. Before my trip to China I would never have thought that this was even possible. 

Oxford International College in Changzhou

Oxford International College in Changzhou

President Frank arranged for all the kids at the schools I spoke at to get a copy of my book.  Here’s a photo at Oxford International College in Changzhou.  President Frank is very generous when it comes to doing good things to help and inspire others.

Speaking at The Western International School of Shanghai

Speaking at The Western International School of Shanghai

I also spoke at the Western International School of Shanghai.  There were about 500 kids and they had so many great questions.  I really had fun here.  Stoke City Football Club from England have a football program here and I got to play soccer with the football team and they gave me a soccer ball signed by all the Stoke City players.  Pretty Cool.

York showing me around Shanghai

York showing me around Shanghai

In Shanghai, Mum and I were looked after by President Frank’s Hua Qiao team member York.  We really had a great time and we became good friends. Thanks York for all your help and for spending all day every day for five days with Mum and I.  You were so busy!

We really achieved a lot in Shanghai and I’m so grateful to President Frank and the Rotary Club of Shanghi for helping me to get so many more soccer balls to kids who wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to play football.  Thanks for a great trip, one I’ll never forget.

Mac

Brookfield Rotary – Thank You!

Hi Guys

On Wednesday I spoke at the Rotary Club of Brookfield.  That’s near to where my

Brookfield Rotary Donation

Brookfield Rotary Donation

Grandma lives.  I just wanted to say thank you so much to Ross (my teacher’s Dad) for inviting me. Also thank you for the donation of $200.  I really appreciate that.  I can buy 20 soccer balls with that.

Also thanks to Denise who is taking soccer balls to some small villages in Vanuatu for us.  That’s great.  Denise is leaving for Vanuatu today.

School holidays are just about over.  Back to school next week.  But I’m only there for two weeks then off to China.  Can’t wait.

Mac

 

India – 31 schools and 10,000 kids

Hi Guys 

I have just had most amazing time in India.  Dr Ravi Vadlamani of Rotary District 3150 invited me, my Poppa and my Mum to Hyderabad, Khammam, Sarapaka and Gunter.  I was invited to talk to 31 schools about my project Football – Play It Forward and why I send soccer balls to kids around the world.  I also spoke at four Rotary Clubs.  Everyone was just so kind and welcoming.  So many people looked after us in India.

Airport Welcome at Hyderabad

Airport Welcome at Hyderabad

Thanks so much to Rotarian Sai, Harihara and Ramesh for taking such good care of me.  Also Bibo for meeting us at the airport too.  You guys were great.  I love your restaurant Hari and thanks for all the great food!  Every school I went to there was a great  big sign saying Welcome Mac.  It was awesome. This picture is when we first arrived at the airport in India!

India is amazing! I loved:

  • that the people are so kind, friendly and hospitable
  • the cows wandering through the streets, not concerned about the cars or the beeping The Sacred Cowhorns
  • that cows are sacred
  • that there are no road rules in India – none!  Three people on one scooter      with no helmets.
  • the noisy streets and the beeping horns – we worked out the drivers use their      horns to talk to each other and let people know what they are doing
  • the buffalo, goats and monkeys everywhere
  • that the people of India are very proud of their peaceful history – Mahatma Gandhi Streets of Indiaachieved India’s independence from Britain by peaceful protest.
  • The Ganesha Festival – people dancing in the streets, the music and the big statues of the Elephant God.

India can be challenging :)

Our challenges in India included:

  • it’s really hot all the time, even at night
  • the food is really, really spicy
  • In the areas we visited, it’s mostly vegetarian – at McDonalds there are no      cheese burgers or Big Macs – just chicken burgers
  • Okay, the traffic chaos can be scary – Mum didn’t enjoy that bit too much, but I      thought it was kind of fun.
  • You can’t drink the water.  Mum and I had competitions to see who would forget to use the bottled water when brushing our teeth.  Very hard to remember.

In Hyderabad we stayed at Past District Governor’s Sam’s house.  We had                         Dosa for breakfast.  It’s kind of like a crepe.  We also had coconut chutney and spicy ginger chutney.  Poppa loved it.

Here’s a picture of me with PDG Sam and Rotarian Sai.  Rotarian Sai and Rotarian PDG Sam and Rtn SaiHarihara took us around to the schools and looked after us.  Man, we were busy and I know it was hard work for them to get us to each school on time.   Every time I visited a school, the kids had made the best gifts for me: letters, posters, a Charminar (temple near Hyderabad) souvenir, a soccer ball with the Charminar painted on it, beautiful books and plaques, flowers and a great shirt that the kids made with the flag of India, the peace dove, and drawings representing the charity work the kids do.

The Schools

I spoke to 31 schools and nearly 10,000 kids.  The kids were really friendly and were keen Addressing a schoolto play soccer too. I talked about my school in Australia, why I like playing soccer and why I send soccer balls to kids around the world who wouldn’t otherwise get the opportunity to play my favourite game.  One student asked me ‘why soccer balls?’  I told him that just that morning, a girl my age came to visit the house where I was staying.  She didn’t speak any English and I didn’t speak Telagu, so we just kicked the ball.  We played for about 15 minutes.  During that time we had a whole conversation and never spoke a word.

Artificial Limb Centre in Khammam
Artificial Limb Centre in Khammam

In Khammam, District Governor Vasu took care of us and took us to many  schools.  DG Vasu was pretty cool. We also visited the Artificial Limb Centre.  Did you know it only costs AU$50 to provide an artificial leg for a person?  We visited the workshop where they make the limbs.  This helps them to get a job and look after their family.  We stayed at John Mark’s house and we ate some great food.  He has like a dormitory above his house and this is where the doctors and volunteers stay when they come to help in India.  It was pretty interesting.

‘Football – Play It Forward’ and the kids of India, together sending soccer balls to Gaza!

New Vision Concept School donated 30 soccer balls (going to Gaza)

New Vision Concept School donated 30 soccer balls (going to Gaza)

New Vision Concept school is in Khammam.  Here, I spoke to over 2000  students.  The school donated 30 soccer balls.  Wow!  I didn’t come to India to collect donations, but I’ll never say no.  The day before, a student asked me if I had sent soccer balls to Gaza.  I said no I hadn’t, but those kids have had a really hard time and it was a great idea.  So, these 30 soccer balls we are sending to Gaza.  United Nations is helping me to do this. 

Guntur

 This is the home town of Dr Ravi and Raji Vadlamani who brought me to India.  Everyone Shaking hands was so kind and we had so much fun.  One day we had dinner at this beautiful house.  It was so big and spectacular and then there are cows that live inside the courtyard at the front of the house!  It was quite an unusual sight for us.

In Guntur I loved staying at Dr Rajesh and Dr Chetu’s house.  They took me out for ice cream and to the club to play ping pong. They are both Ophthalmologists and mum went to visit their hospital.  On some days their team screen 750 children to check their eyesight.  On the day we were there, 55 kids needed treatment and they do this for free for the families that can’t pay.

I had a great time in India and I’m really grateful to Dr Ravi for giving me the trip of a lifetime. My world is so much bigger now.

I’m off to Sydney this week to play football.  A whole week with my soccer mates, playing two or three games every day and staying in a dorm.  Should be pretty cool. Then on October 17 I’m off to China.  I’ve been invited to speak at the Rotary Club of Shanghai by President Frank Yih.  I’ll also get to meet the Rotaract and Interact Clubs too.  Can’t wait.

I’ll update with where we are sending more soccer balls soon.

From

Mac

Off to India Tomorrow!!!!

Hey GuysDr Ravi Vadlamani

I’m very excited to be going to India tomorrow.  Dr Ravi Vadlamani of the Save Our Schools Foundation and Rotary International has invited me, my Poppa and my Mum to India.  I’ll be speaking to schools and Rotary Clubs over there.  Very excited and can’t wait to tell you all about it.

Mac

Rotary Club of Kampala-Nsambya, Uganda

HiNassar from Uganda

Nassar Mukasa Abdul and John Muyimba from the Rotary Club of Kampala-Nsambya in Uganda asked if we’d provide soccer balls for the kids at the Kabalagala Community School.  YES!!  Mum has transferred $500 and Nassar and John will buy the soccer balls in Uganda to give to the kids.  They are going to organise a tournament for the kids too.  It will be pretty amazing to see this happen.  Can’t wait to see the photos Nassar!

 

 

Thanks Shisheer! Soccer balls for Nepal

Hey GuysShisheer from Nepal

At the Rotary International Convention in Sydney,  I met Shisheer from Nepal.  Shisheer’s Rotary Club is the Rotary Club of Nagarjun and they are going to distribute soccer balls to the schools in his area.  We’ve sent $661 in Australian dollars and this is about $590 in American dollars.  Shisheer is going to buy 50 soccer balls and 10 hand pumps.  Ten schools will get five soccer balls each.  Thanks Shisheer!

 

 

Soccer balls for kids in Vanuatu

Hey Guys

I made some great contacts at the Rotary International Convention in Sydney and there have been some really great things come from this.  This week Mr John Simpson from the Rotary Club of Cleveland took soccer balls to the kids of Vanuatu.  Thanks for taking the soccer balls John, and for sending some photos.

John Simpson in Vanuatu John Simpson in VanuatuIMG_6800