Foot­ball got new mates rolling

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS -

It was the in­ter­na­tional lan­guage of foot­ball that broke the ice be­tween two new friends.

Cen­tral city res­i­dent Stephen Buckley trav­elled to Uganda to visit the 6-yearold boy he is spon­sor­ing through TEAR Fund.

‘‘See­ing Ron­ald in the flesh was a mo­ment I’ll never for­get. Here was this lit­tle boy who’d been noth­ing but a pic­ture and sud­denly he was in front of me,’’ Buckley says.

‘‘For the first four hours he sort of just checked me out, he didn’t know what to think and was quite shy. After I vis­ited his home and gave him a soc­cer ball he started warm­ing up – by the end of the day we’d be­come good friends.’’

Ron­ald is be­ing raised by his HIV-pos­i­tive, can­cer­rid­dled grand­mother.

Buckley be­gan spon­sor­ing him a few years ago with the in­ten­tion of one day go­ing to visit him.

As a spon­sored child Ron­ald is able to go to school and have all of his school­re­lated costs paid for. He is given enough food to eat, med­i­cal at­ten­tion and ex­tra tu­ition.

Ron­ald’s grand­mother was walk­ing a long dis­tance each day to fetch wa­ter so Buckley has de­cided to get a wa­ter tank in­stalled for the fam­ily.

In­ter­na­tional lan­guage: Cen­tral city res­i­dent Stephen Buckley trav­elled to Uganda to meet 6-year-old Ron­ald, the child he spon­sors through TEAR Fund.

Good friends: Ron­ald, left, at­tends school and has enough food thanks to Stephen’s support.

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