After a hard few days at work we had a well deserved lie in today!!!!!! As Helen and Bryony had been cooking all week the girls (Cerys, Chante and Cat) decided to make breakfast for everyone. Due to finishing work on the court yesterday we had a bit of free time in the morning to go into town and buy a few souvenirs.
When we got back to The Fold we had a game of tag rugby with the kids which they loved. Finally the long awaited goal posts arrived and as soon as they had been set up, a game of netball christened the court. The children were really excited to play and it was lovely to see all of their smiles as they played. The game went on for so long that we lost count of the score, but no one wanted to stop playing. In the end we had to call it a day as we would have needed floodlights too.
Before everyone went in for dinner, the children managed to get hold of Helen’s phone and started listening to some tunes. When Gangnam style came on they all started dancing and singing which was really funny as we didn’t expect them to have seen it before. We all had a good laugh and lots of fun.
The usual routine took place this morning…woke up, breakfast, and out we went to finish the final bits of the basketball/netball court. All of the painting had been done except for the line markings which was the technical part. It took quite a while to get the measurements right but we managed to mark everything out ready for the final lines to be painted. Luckily, thanks to Fleet we had a proper machine that meant we didn’t have to paint he lines by hand. Just as we were about to start painting Martin St Quinton one of the clubs owners and Trustee of The Fold turned up to lend a hand and see how we had been getting on.
After a couple of hours we managed to get the job done and it looked impressive even if we do say so ourselves. Everyone took a moment to bask in the glory of what we had achieved over the last few days. We were excited for the children to have a look and for them to play on it, but we had to wait for it to dry properly first. While we were waiting we decided to decorate the wall next to the court with the children’s hand prints. The kids absolutely loved doing this and it was nice for them to be able to add their lasting contribution to the project.
Another early start, we were straight out on to the court and got on with the painting. We managed to finish the main bulk of the court and with some of the remaining paint we decided to paint around the edges of the court as well.
After lunch we were then taken to the local township, where we got to help at a soup kitchen that takes place once a week. We helped hand out milk and peanut butter and jam sandwiches to over 300 children. We were told that normally there can be up to 800 children that come for food, which may be the only time during the week that they get to eat a proper meal, but due to it being school holidays lots of the children go to neighboring towns to visit family.
Before the children got their food, they all sang songs and said a prayer. Chante and Cerys took the job of giving out sandwiches, Helen and Bryony were in charge of the milk, and Cat and Owain were pouring milk into bottles that the children had brought with them whilst the others played ball games with the children. We gave out some Gloucester Rugby balls, which they all loved and showed some good skills.
This was an experience we wont be forgetting for a while. It made us all realise how lucky we are and were grateful for the opportunity to help out. All of the children had big smiles despite the fact that they may have been hungry and may have to wait another week before they eat properly again.
On the way back to the orphanage we spotted some giraffes on the side of the road.
We woke up nice and early at 7am to get up before the sun was too hot and spent an hour washing down the concrete surface that was going to be turned into a basketball and netball court. We then went in for breakfast that our head chefs Bryony and Helen made us before going back out to work.
After a few hours working on the court, we went back to the house and spent time playing with the children. We managed to learn some of the Children’s names: Pete, Jessica, Letta and Ronnie….only 12 more to learn.
In the afternoon we started to paint the D’s in blue and the middle section of the court in green. It took us a while to get going, but after the fist section we managed to work out a method between us which enabled us to pick up speed.
Any spare time we had was spent playing with the kids. At 6pm we went to Mama Fatima’s house where all the kids gathered ready for Paul to read a bible story. At the end they all sang a sone and gave each other a hug before bed time. We all had a really nice day.
Our day started at 1pm where we all excitedly met at Gloucester Rugby to begin our journey to South Africa.
After a grueling 10 hour flight we landed in Johannesburg at 7.00am and were picked up at 8.30am and taken to The Fold by Mickey and Paul Prince who are the founders of the Orphanage. After nearly a full days traveling we finally arrived at the children’s home at 1pm. We were greeted with hugs by all the kids and staff. Once we were settled, we went out to the area we were going to transform into a sports pitch and started to prepare it for painting straight away, by brushing off the dust. This took longer than we thought but we were determined to get it done.
Afterwards we played with the kids to get to know them. We then had tea and went to bed early as everyone was shattered and we had an early start in the morning.
On Friday 20th June we arrived at Rendcomb College where we had an interesting meeting learning new facts about South Africa! We also played a series of games to get to know each other. Then we went outside to do various team building challenges such as: trying to untangle ourselves to warm ourselves up!
It was clear from our warm up activities that we divided into two main groups of boys as girls, so in our main activities the rule was that boys don’t speak to boys and girls don’t speak to girls which allowed us to bond more as a team!
In the final activity, we used all our team building skills to safely structure a bridge across a river! most of our team made it across except Cerys! Throughout the day we each experienced being the leader of the team ! Overall it was a really fun day and we all bonded well with each other.
South Africa here we come!!
Gloucester Rugby is proud of its charitable and community achievements, which benefit many people across Gloucestershire and this season we are extending our links further to The Fold in South Africa
Gary Little, Community Manager, said ‘We currently deliver a whole range of community project’s that aim to succeed in making a difference to the lives of young people, throughout Gloucestershire. We do this by inspiring and motivating them through the ‘power of rugby’ and a number of educational, social and sporting activities. This season, The Fold, an orphanage in the Limpopo region of South Africa has been selected as one of Gloucester Rugby’s chosen charities and a planned number of community fundraising events will be held throughout the season. ‘The community projects we run in Gloucestershire continue to be our main focus, however, this season we wanted to do more and something a bit different. So we decided to extend our community work beyond the boundaries of the local area by establishing a link with The Fold in South Africa.’ We recently became aware of the work of The Fold, an orphanage set up just a couple of years ago. It provides a place for children who have been rescued from despairing situations. The aim of The Fold is “to create a loving and secure environment where children have hope for the future.” For more information on The Fold please visit http://www.thefold-sa.org/index.html ‘We plan to visit The Fold next year with a group of students from Gloucestershire, bringing together young people from different cultures and backgrounds for a week of mutual educational and undertstanding experiences’