Sporting mission almost complete for teen
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