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13:55 22nd April 2013

by @OfficialQPR

Trust employee Gareth Dixon brings us his latest blog ...

TRUST DUO Gareth Dixon (Social Inclusion Manager) and Martino Chevannes (Community Trust Manager) are in Mwanza, Tanzania this week as part of the preparations for the 2014 Street Child World Cup.

For the full story, click here

In the meantime, here is Gareth’s first blog entry …

DAY 1 Friday / Sunday - Transit

After an eight hour flight to Nairobi and then a quick hop onto another plane we landed in the capital of Tanzania, Dar Es Saalm.

We had a few hours to kill before our final flight into Mwanza, so took advantage of the spare time to have lunch by an amazing bay. 

Then after a quick dash through the quiet roads of the nation’s capital (!), we were back at the airport awaiting our flight to our place of work for the next seven days.

On arrival in Mwanza you could tell that this was quite a different place to the capital. It had a village feel to it but you could see there were some real areas of desperation.

We met Muntani, who is the leader behind Tanzania Street Child (TSC) Sports Academy and he showed us briefly around and gave us an introduction to what we would be doing over the course of the next week.

We also met with Rob, who works with Muntani at Street Child after moving over to Mwanza from Portsmouth 18 months ago. Quite a change from Fratton Park I can imagine!

DAY 2 Sunday - Familiarisation

Sunday was all about getting a feel for what goes on here and boy did we get that!

Our first stop was at a centre where a lot of the day-to-day work goes on.

We met some budding and charismatic young footballer on arrival and then got a guided tour of the building.

When you see the conditions, it really brings it home to you about the realities of day-to-day life here.

When you get an understanding that there are street kids here as young as four, facing all the dangers that come with the lifestyle, it's like a quick smack to the head and you immediately feel extremely humble and fortunate.

Some of the centre itself was recently demolished without any warning or compensation and now lies as rubble. This is due to a central bank buying land next door to build on and some grey areas around boundary lines. This has impacted greatly on the work TSC do. 

After some fantastic lunch at the on-site café, run by former street children, it was off to our first taste of football in Tanzania.

It was an under-20 game featuring TSC and a local team. The stadium itself was something else and I commented that the pitch would be comparable to a building site back home!

TSC needed to win to go top and despite going two-nil up, they proceeded to throw that lead away and got pegged back to 2-2. They even went one step further and gave the opposition a last minute penalty which they thankfully missed!

We were invited to speak to the players at the end and to be honest it was an honour as some of the football played and the attitude shown was fantastic. The players, via a translator, seemed pleased with what was said and thanked us for coming to Tanzania.

Today was really whetted the appetite for the course itself, which starts tomorrow.

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