Ciaran O’Sullivan, an Antelope Park lion volunteer from the UK, arrived in Gweru recently with a suitcase full of football shirts that he had collected to donate to three of our community projects. With over 100 shirts, children from the Midlands Children’s Home (Rosedale), the Midlands Children’s Hope Centre (MCHC) and the Drop-in Centre all benefitted from this generous donation. Unbeknown to Ciaran, his shirts could not have arrived at a better time for the children of the Midlands Children's Home, who were due to compete in a football tournament later that afternoon. They were delighted to each receive a football shirt in which to proudly represent the orphanage. They certainly looked the part!
ALERT and Antelope Park would like to express sincere gratitude to Ciaran for taking the time to organise this thoughtful donation.
This is what Ciaran had to say about his efforts: ‘From visiting Zambia in 2013, I learned of African children’s love for football. So, prior to my Zimbabwe trip, I put out a request on Facebook for unwanted football shirts from my local area. I was blown away by the response and picked up well over 100 football shirts. The kids at the orphanages loved them. The Facebook page ‘Donate a Football Shirt’ displays pictures. It’s amazing how generous people can be!’
Medical centres in Zimbabwe, in common with the rest of Africa, face the common challenge of looking after a large volume of patients with insufficient numbers of staff. To try to ease the problem, Antelope Park medical volunteers regularly visit the clinics around our project sites to offer assistance with basic tasks, such as counting out medication, taking weights and measurements, and making sure the treatment areas are kept clean and tidy. This extra support helps to free up medical staff to tend to the patients within their care. With a catchment area of 50,000 people, staff members at Mkoba 4 Polyclinic are grateful for this help which alleviates some of the pressure they face on a daily basis.
Nicole Sfeir, a medical volunteer from the US, has enjoyed offering her assistance: ‘My first week volunteering at the clinics has been great so far. I have helped out at a baby clinic, where we measured height and weight, and in pharmacies by counting and packaging medications. The staff and patients have all been extremely sweet and friendly.’
You can help support ALERT’s work in the community by sponsoring a school, orphanage, or healthcare facility. You can find out more details here. Or you may wish to join us in Africa as an intern, or as part of our volunteer program.