A team of 12 volunteers travelled to Ghana with Burnley FC in the Community (BFCitC) last month, as part of a unique charitable mission in partnership with volunteer travel organisation, African Adventures.
Travelling to the fishing village of Woe and to the Dedzidi Primary School, the team spent a week mixing and moulding over 500 bricks.
The bricks will be used later in the year for the construction of the second storey of the school’s new classroom block.
This is the third time a team of BFCitC volunteers have travelled to the West African country and to the project in Woe, with three of the volunteers taking part in 2014, 2015 and again this year.
The project is managed in-country by Siva Vordgzorbe and his team of staff at The Young Shall Grow International (a non-profit organisation founded by Siva to help children living on the streets in Woe).
African Adventures’ volunteers travel to Siva’s organisation to provide community support through teaching, sports coaching and, in the case of BFCitC, manual labour.
Siobhán McNamara, Marketing and Events Manager at BFCitC said: “Here at BFCitC we’ve developed a strong connection with The Young Shall Grow International and the team of staff working with Siva.
“Some of us were returning for the second or third time and to see lots of familiar faces, as well checking out how far the build has progressed at the Dedzidi School, was truly special.
“When we first came to Woe to work on the build of the classroom block we were literally laying its foundations.
"Then, in 2015, we moulded bricks and started to build the classroom walls. Fast forward another two-and-a-half years and there are now five functioning classrooms filled with pupils!
“We know African Adventures have a real focus to get the second storey completed by the end of the year and we hope our work this time has helped them towards achieving that goal.”
The team also took 12 suitcases worth of donations with them to the Young Shall Grow International, kindly provided by Burnley FC fans through the Kits for Kids campaign, which was driven with the help of Clarets’ striker Sam Vokes.
The volunteers took football kits, football boots and school equipment, as well as sanitary products and general clothing donations.
“We were overwhelmed with the generosity of Burnley fans in the run up to the trip”, explained Siobhán.
“We received countless bags of donations for the community in Ghana and it was so brilliant to go full circle and actually hand everything over.
"Some of the children we encountered wore the same items of clothing for days on end, so to see them in new tops, shorts and shoes brought home how valuable the campaign was.
“The other 50% of the donations we received will be sent to Kenya in the next few weeks to a similar project in Nakuru, which was founded by Sam Vokes’ grandparents. I extend my thanks again to every fan who contributed to Kits for Kids.”
BFCitC would like to thank the team of volunteers who took part in the trip to Ghana and for their hard work and dedication.
A percentage of the funds generated by each volunteer also contributes to the non-profit work of BFCitC and therefore also directly benefits the communities here in East Lancashire.
Special thanks too to the businesses who kindly sponsored the efforts of the volunteers, including Utility Alliance, Raymond James, Spot White, VEKA, Tricketts Insurance, Charter Walk Shopping Centre, O2 Burnley and Handelsbanken.
To find out more about Burnley FC in the Community please visit www.burnleyfccommunity.org.
To find out more about African Adventures please visit www.african-adventures.co.uk.