Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Meet the team

The new members of the Inclusive Sport Education Team started working on the he Development of Inclusive Sports Programme on the 20th January, after the Induction Week and some days of training on the project.

From left to right, Hannah, Ed, Biba, Mark, Rory, Gerard and Nicté

Let's start by introducing Mark.

Mark is the youngest member of the team. But what he lacks in age he makes up for in his smouldering good looks. He began his life in India living there for 3 years with his parents who were missionaries. He has a passion for football and is enjoying the football culture in Burkina Faso, though is dismayed by their love for Chelsea considering he is an Aston Villa fan. He is presently taking a gap year and intends to study creative writing for Uni which hopefully means he is a creative individual. He has taken a keen interest in building equipment and carpentry which makes him feel (and I quote) 'very Christ-like'. Though he does share many similarities with Jesus he isn't quite the saviour of the world but hopes that little by little we may, as a collective group, positively affect the world through kindness and generosity. He's odds on favourite to be the next (White) Martin Luther King.

Next up we have Ed. When he was four he wanted to drive a digger; his ambitions have moved on since then but unfortunately due to strict IS rules and a lack of available diggers here in Burkina, that dream remains unfulfilled as yet. He has just graduated from uni in Manchester with a degree in Classics and is raring to go learning French and getting involved with the many exciting projects here. The only pity, despite the auspicious weather conditions (it’s hot, so very hot), their blank faces at the mention of cricket. The dream of playing over here is sadly going the same way as driving a digger.

Then we have Biba. Biba has a degree in Law and she enjoys nature and playing handball. Biba is volunteering within the ICS programme in order to help people in need and contribute to the work of the team with her previous volunteering experience. She has previously volunteered with the Red Cross assisting refugees from Mali and has also experience volunteering with Amnesty International. Biba is also interested in making new friends.

Next is Rory. The 19 year old was born and raised in London until the age of 16, when he moved up north to the notoriously wet Lake District. Shortly after the moving up north he was shipped off to boarding school in Durham where he learned to master the fine art of the towel whip. His interests include ice fishing, stamp collecting and bird watching. He intends to study politics at university come September.

Next we have Hannah, the only female out of the British volunteers. She has just finished her A-levels and is now on a gap year. In school she was very into sport and music, particularly rugby and singing.  Aside from coming to Africa for three months, she has previously travelled to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands and India. She hopes to go on and study International Development at University this year.

Gerard says: 'Hola a todos!' He is not the youngest of the group like his 'brother' Mark, but he thinks he is the most handsome in the group. And Mark does agree with him, right?

According to Gerard, he is someone very altruistic. He thinks that he is very lucky to be given the opportunity to work with all the other volunteers in this project. Gerard finds really interesting to work in a educational and raising awareness project on the issues of disability and inclusive sport in a country such as Burkina Faso where disabled people are still subject to marginalisation.

Although, it's true that he has put on some weight, he really likes sport and he enjoys watching disabled people having fun while practicing some sport. Gerard knows that it will take some time for this project to be fully understood and accepted by everyone in Burkina. Nevertheless, he is sure that in the not very distant future these mentalities will change in favour of people with disabilities. Through this project, Gerard would like to contribute efficiently to effectively include disabled people into the development of Burkina Faso.

Not only is Gerard the most handsome, but the tallest and the best dancer in the group. With a background in Psychology, he attends a Human Resources master part-time. Gerard would like to contribute to an strategic management of the Human Resources in Burkina Faso.

Gerard also likes travelling and meeting new people. One day, he is going to travel to Spain to visit the Santiago Bernabeu and to England to improve his English!!! Gerard believes in the kindness of the human being and he campaigns in favour of a more equal world. Oops! Gerard has forgotten that he likes talking too much and that Nicté has kindly reminded him...

Finally, we have Nicté. You may be familiar with her already. Nicté is the Team Leader and has been working in the project for 8 months already. She has enjoyed her time working with children and adults with disabilities in Burkina. She is grateful for all the smiles that athletes and students have shared with her daily during the sport sessions. She is thankful to the peoples of Burkina for the warmth and simplicity in their manners.

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