Sunday 8 April 2012

Nearly Home - The Final Word from Kenya Sports Team

And the final word goes to.....

Ali Groves (Angmering School)

Firstly the 'thank you's ':  to Helen, Adam, Simon and all the CRED team for their willingness to take on this venture and for making 'just an idea' become a reality.

Secondly, to all of you at home who have supported us on this fantastic journey: for all the coffee mornings, cake sales, raffles,quizzes, sponsorship, gifts of football kits and sports equipment; we would not be here without your love and support, so thank you.

Thirdly, thank you to the Kenya 2012 Team itself: each member has given all of themselves and more to make this a life changing experience and privilege for everyone. This trip has been most amazing.  

We have witnessed immense poverty and injustice living amongst great joy and hope. Children from the poorest area in the world have given us the warmest of welcomes and biggest of smiles.  We have laughed and cried and given our best to the most deserving of children. This week the planning has given way to the spontaneous, and the concept of time has taken on a new perspective!  

It has been a back-to-basics week, living from the inside out.  We have put aside our own problems and taken a new perspective on our own lives, valuing everything we have - our possessions yes, but especially our family and friends.  We have shed tears and tried to make sense of how such great poverty can exist within walking distance of great affluence.  We have admired the aspirations of the students to become teachers, doctors and engineers, and occasionally we have hung our heads at our lame excuses for not achieving.  

We have also held our heads in pride as the children chanted countries names, ran, jumped, and threw at the mini Olympics and competed in the football tournament.  We came to Kenya with the intention of delivering the Olympic legacy to the children of Kibera community, to inspire all young people to participate in sport.  With the promise from the Spurgeons teachers to hold an Olympic and football tournament annually in memory of our trip, I think it's 'job done'.

This week we have made lifelong friends within the team, and with the children of Spurgeons we have made memories - memories that will last a lifetime.  Upon our return it may take time to adjust and come to terms with the poverty and injustice in the world, and to decide what we as individuals can do about it.  So give us time ...

For many of us this journey is only the beginning, and our goodbyes are merely 'au revoirs.'  It has been a privilege to work with everyone in the team.  To everyone out there, please be proud of your friend, colleague, son,daughter, brother, sister, husband, wife, mum, dad... they have done you more than proud!


And finally, a word from Helen (CRED Trip Leader)

I'm not going to repeat all that Ali has so eloquently said, but as CRED trip leader, I just want to write a few lines.

Firstly, thank you to all the team for such an incredible week.  Everyone showed an inspiring level of selflessness and a sacrificial attitude towards serving the people of Kibera; it has been an honour and an absolute pleasure to lead this team.

Secondly, to the parents of the team: thank you for riding the storm of uncertainty before the trip, and sticking with it so that the trip was able to go ahead.  The results of this trip have included a series of blessings for the children and staff of Spurgeons, none of which could have happened if the trip had been cancelled.  As a parent I totally identify with the hard decision you all had to make in allowing your son / daughter to stay on the trip – thank you, from CRED Foundation, and from the people of Kibera.

And finally, to all who can lay some claim to being part of the upbringing and shaping of each of the team members – well done!  Each and every one of the team has been brilliant – be proud of them and all that they have achieved. 

Now for the homecoming, and telling the stories, showing the photos,and processing it all over the coming days, weeks and months.  See you very soon!

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