Pat, who will shortly be visiting the school, is also calling on Islanders to donate unwanted football kit and school uniforms. He was nominated for Coach of the Year at the Channel Island Sports Personality of the Year awards and has spent more than 30 years in football in Jersey. ‘I am passionate about football and sport and recognise how important it is for young people, wherever they live.
‘The children at Mifumi often don’t even have shoes to walk to school in, let alone play football. There are so many benefits to encouraging sport. Apart from fitness there is the learning to work in a team and good old fashioned fun. The kids there have really tough lives and it’s a great way to relax and enjoy themselves whilst also studying for an education that will give them some hope for the future.’
Standard Bank sponsors Mifumi Primary School in Uganda which gives an education to around 700 underprivileged boys and girls.
Three Standard Bank staff travelled out to the school last year to assess how the money that is raised by staff and through the sponsorship, can best be used. One of the staff was Matt Gorman, ‘We were surprised by the priorities, it was the simple things like shoes and books, and also we gave money to provide dormitories for those children who would benefit from staying at the school either because they live too far away to walk everyday, or because there are too many distractions at home for them to be able to concentrate on their schoolwork.
‘When I came back I joined the Mifumi charity committee here in Jersey and I’m going back out again so that I can continue the work that we have started there.’
Twelve years ago the Mifumi Primary School in Uganda barely existed. It consisted of a thatched hut and most of the children were educated under the shade of a tree. There were no facilities, few qualified and experienced staff, no electricity and no clean water. Following the fundraising work by a retired Jersey head teacher, John Carnegie, the school has gone from strength to strength with new purpose built classrooms, improved teaching facilities and a new Head Teacher and dedicated staff. The school is now attended by nearly 700 boys and girls and is a beacon of hope in rural Eastern Uganda.
For further information: www.mifumi.org