Sport­ing mis­sion almost com­plete for teen

Salford Advertiser - - HEART OF THE COMMUNITY -

A TEENAGER is on an over­seas project help­ing peo­ple with learn­ing dis­abil­i­ties in Africa.

Matt Hill, 18, from Ellesmere Park, is car­ry­ing out vol­un­teer work at the L’Arche Nongr-Maasem in Burk­ina Faso, West Africa.

L’Arche Nongr-Maasem is a com­mu­nity set up by the in­ter­na­tional char­ity L’Arche to help break down bar­ri­ers for peo­ple with learn­ing dis­abil­i­ties and in­volve them in sport­ing ac­tiv­i­ties.

Matt re­turns home this month after 10 weeks as a vol­un­teer with the In­ter­na­tional Cit­i­zen Ser­vice, which al­lows young peo­ple to com­plete vol­un­teer place­ments in the de­vel­op­ing world.

He said: “One of our ma­jor aims here is to cre­ate a league be­tween cen­tres for in­tel­lec­tual dis­abil­i­ties and in do­ing so de­velop a na­tional uni­fied foot­ball team which could play at the next Spe­cial Olympics.

“We are work­ing with L’Arche, a char­ity who aims to pro­vide a com­mu­nity for in­di­vid­u­als liv­ing with in­tel­lec­tual dis­abil­i­ties.

“This is im­por­tant as in many so­ci­eties peo­ple with in­tel­lec­tual dis­abil­i­ties suf­fer dis­crim­i­na­tion due to tra­di­tional cul­tural su­per­sti­tions and a lack of gov­ern­men­tal fund­ing for this vul­ner­a­ble sec­tion of so­ci­ety.”

Matt and his fel­low vol­un­teers taught sports to three cen­tres.

He added: “With­out th­ese sports ses­sions th­ese peo­ple have few op­por­tu­ni­ties to so­cialise due to them be­ing marginalised and ex­cluded from the every­day so­cial ac­tiv­i­ties.”

The vol­un­teers have also found funds to help the com­mu­nity grow and sell their own crops and to con­tinue sports lessons.

Any­one wish­ing to help should email arche. In­ter­na­tion­alser­vice@ gmail.com.

Matt Hill pic­tured while vol­un­teer­ing in West Africa

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