2011 COACH / NON-COMPETITIVE COACHING AND VOLUNTEER COORDINATOR STEVEN MITCHELL TOOK PART IN A TRIP TO RWANDA BACK IN FEBRUARY AS PART OF A LEGACY TRIP WITH HEART OF MIDLOTHIAN FC AND A NUMBER OF LOCAL GRASSROOT FOOTBALL CLUBS. STEVEN HAS PUT TOGETHER THIS PRESENTATION FOR US:-
STEVEN THEN SAT DOWN WITH US TO ANSWER A FEW QUESTIONS:-
Q1.) How did you 1st find out about the Rwanda trip?
First found out about the trip at a committee meeting
Q2.) Did you know many of the other coaches who were going?
I never knew any other coaches of the legacy clubs but had meet Alan White (chalky) at some of the recent SFA courses
Q3.) Was there any initial apprehension in going?
I was apprehensive right up to the point I landed in Rwanda, but within 24 hours I had made some good friends and figured out that Rwanda was different in so many ways to what I had imagined.
Q4.) How much research into Rwanda did you do before the trip? I never done any research into Rwanda before I went which is probably why I was a tad nervous about going🙈
Q5.) You see places with extreme poverty on tv but what is it like to actually see it in person?
When you see it on tv it’s often very quick to move on to another subject, once you’re in the thick of it though there is no quick fix. These kids are so poor due to different circumstances and it’s really touching to see how they take the poverty and just get on with it.
I felt very humble about the whole Rwanda experience and felt quite emotional on a few occasions, watching the kid’s soldier on with no shoes and very little clothing! These kids that we coached are actually not the most deprived! There are the street kids who have no parents, nothing and more than likely are driven by drug dealers or adults with alcohol to go out and steal to get them by
Q6.) Does it put things into perspective seeing what these children have?
Definitely put things into perspective about what my kids have/get compared to the poor souls over there.
Q7.) Hearing 1st hand about the genocide must have been tough, were you prepped in advance about what happened?
I wasn’t prepared in advance regarding the genocide and it’s hard to believe that after the Hutu tried to wipe out the Tutsi that they now forgive and forget the atrocities of 1994 and earlier years!
Q8.) What would say was the standout moment on the trip? Standout moment for me was driving from the capital Kigali to Bisesero which is west of Rwanda high in the mountains, it’s hard to believe such barbaric things could have happened in such a beautiful country.
Q9.) Was there anything that surprised you on the trip?
I was surprised about how happy and interested the locals were to see Mzungu(white people) they would pull your hairs in your arms and try to scratch off freckles😂 then they would walk off laughing thinking that you were funny as they had never seen white people before
Q10.) How important is football to the children over there? Football is everything for the children over in Rwanda, everywhere you go there is a child kicking makeshift balls out of plastic bags and string and any other items they can find. Rwandans are very resourceful as you will see in some of my photos! (Anything goes on the back of a push bike) 👍😂
Q11.) What will be your lasting memory of the trip?
My lasting memory of the trip will be how little it takes to make people happy!
Q12.) Now that you are back will you be looking to help out or do more trips like this in the future?
Now that I’m back I’m already thinking about how I can get back! Now that I’ve seen Rwanda, I now know what’s required to make just a little difference! For example, you can sponsor one of the street kids for as little as £5 per week! That money gives them a bed, 3 hot meals per week and an education.