WhizzKids United at Maritzburg United vs Ajax Cape Town
posted by Marcus McGilvray on 23 February 2012
The best way to make kids happy after seeing their team lose is a good meal!
The best way to make kids happy after seeing their team lose is a good meal!

Thanks to the generosity of our partners Maritzburg United we received 50 free tickets to see Maritzburg play Ajax Cape Town in Pitermaritzburg last Sunday.

It was quite possibly the most humid day of the year and we were relieved to take our seats in the covered section of the stadium. The kids were quick to join the mass of hardcore Martizburg United Supporters who bobbed and swayed, stamped their feet, danced, clapped and sang for the full 90 minutes. Not forgetting of course the sound of the vuvuzela being blown also for a full 90 minutes!! Sadly, as much as the fans sang out their support for Maritzburg, Ajax went on to win the game 2-0. Whilst Maritzburg always looked the most dangerous team going forwards it just wasn’t working in terms of getting the ball into the ‘onion bag’!

Even so we had a great afternoon out with the kids and fans. We filled the ‘Bakkie’ up with nine kids after the match and drove them home to Edendale and stopped of for KFC on the way to commiserate our loss!!

Many thanks to Maritzburg United – I’m sorry we didn’t bring you good luck!

In The Time of Need and Cholera
posted by Marcus McGilvray on 8 September 2011
Join WKU In the Fight Against Cholera!
Join WKU In the Fight Against Cholera!

Dr Seidu Korkor a Health Specialist at the Northern Regional Health Directorate of the Ghana Health Services warned in April that the fight against the outbreak of cholera in Ghana would not be won, unless there was multi-sectoral collaboration and commitment. 

In response his this call for collaboration to prevent the spread of the cholera outbreak in and around Tamale and prevent further loss of life, WhizzKids United went into action. Under the direction of our Project Manager Mohammed Haruna four priority areas were focused on – Jisonayili, Kanvilli, Gurugu and Dohanayili. These are poorest of the poor areas. Our objectives included cleaning up the waste in these communities, teaching efficient waste management practices and developing a culture of cleanliness and good sanitation amongst young people. In addition, and in support of our larger programme in Ghana staff have also started going door to door in these communities stressing to parents the importance of sending their daughters to school where they can be educated rather than keeping them at home to do chores and feed livestock.

In each of the four communities a two day workshop was hosted for parents, Elders and Chiefs on the prevention of cholera run in partnership with the Department of Health and Zoom Lion Company, a waste management agent, both of who we are very grateful to. Working with the local schools we then set up four WKU ‘health clubs’ to clean up the communities. To date, 1223 youth aged between 11 and 16 have signed up to the project and have begun cleaning up their communities whilst educating their families on basic sanitation and cleanliness. Currently waste is dumped indiscriminately and children and adults defecate openly in rivers, streets and streams causing water contamination.

This has been an excellent example of WKU’s ability to respond to the express health needs of the communities we work with due to the quality and skills of our dedicated staff. 

If you would like to help poor people live a better life whilst knowing that every penny you donate is being spent wisely then please go to http://www.justgiving.com/Marcus-McGilvray0  and donate. Much of the money raised by the Mongol Rally will support the expansion of our Clinic in Jisonayili which will act as a training hub for the ‘health clubs’ from where we will disseminate health education and our ‘On the Ball’ life skills programme.

Why Travel 10,000 miles to fundraise for WhizzKids United?
posted by Marcus McGilvray on 4 August 2011
No rain, mountain ranges nor deserts can stop our CEO!
No rain, mountain ranges nor deserts can stop our CEO!
I daresay, many of you must be wondering, how can the CEO and Founder of Africaid and its WhizzKids United programme can take six weeks off work to take part in the Mongol Rally - 10,000 miles overland to Mongolia in a car no bigger than a 1,000cc engine! My first answer to that would be, set up a charity and work in Africa for 10 years and you’ll know why. But chances are you won’t. So, let me attempt to explain those ten years in more detail so that this adventure, and surely it’s an adventure, resonates and makes sense to everyone. With no shadow of a doubt, I have been blessed to have spent the last 10 years in Africa. It has been an intoxicating love affair entwined with her sounds, beauty, murmurings, majesty, smells, touch, taste, tragedy yet splendour and still most of all - Her people.

I’m fortunate to spend time each day with remarkable and resilient young people set on overcoming the daily grind of hardship and pain and making something of their lives. To play a small part in their lives and with such a wonderful team of fellow workers is an honour, a truly great honour.

However, to make a difference in the lives of the young people we seek to serve, we are naturally forced into the mind-numbing and time-consuming world of fundraising. This is precious time lost with a young boy or girl, who for example maybe lost both parents to HIV, desperately needs someone to fight in their corner; someone to show them the way and most importantly someone to tell them who they are – the core question of their soul. Without this precious time, this question will remain unanswered all their lives, leaving them incomplete and open to the dangers of alcohol abuse, drugs, HIV, sexual abuse, poverty etc.

Yet our time to make a difference is impeded with the daily grind of proposal writing, proposal concepts, reading the guidelines, draft a 100 page plan, review, refusal, phone down, waiting with no replies, door to door, hand to mouth, boardroom to boredom, start again.

Days can therefore become something of a routine. Get up search for sponsors, take a hundred kick backs in a day, go home, sleep and try it all again the next day! Man needs adventure – we all do. I needed time out to challenge myself, face new dangers, to feel alive – so hence the Mongol rally.

So far we’ve driven through 13 countries, had countless adventures, felt worn out, desperate for sleep or food or water. But I’ve felt alive every minute. We keep a journal and hope to write a book about our travels...watch this space! Going forwards we have thousands of miles of Kazakhstani desert to overcome and then of course the mighty Gobi Desert. Miles of emptiness and danger driven out in a little Nissan Micra – it’s an adventure that charges the blood! It provides more questions than answers. Will we make it out alive? Will we have the resolve to keep going even if the car gives up? The uncertainty is the driving force and something we all need and crave. I can’t wait to come back and share my adventures with all the kids, because this is what life is all about – living!

I graciously thank you for taking the time to read how I feel and understand my purpose for doing this. If you would like to donate toward my efforts, then please follow this link to my justgiving page. Thanks again.

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