Writer: Bernard Lillis
Date:Wednesday July 23 2008
This is something that has been run on Vital Villa, but hopefully plenty more of the Vital Football sites will also run them. When asked if I would, I was happy to as this is for a very good cause - it might be very Villa orientated, but you will hopefully get the bigger picture!
In January I returned to Ireland, having spent five months doing voluntary work in an orphanage/Leprosarium in Ghana. I brought with me my collection of Villa jerseys with the intention of distributing them to the children there.
I've posted a couple of pictures of the guys in the jerseys. The place is called Ahotokurom and is being run by Sister Pat and Sister Monica, 2 Irish nuns. It began as a safe place for leprosy sufferers to get help and treatment, but eventually an orphanage was built for the children of the sufferers who had nowhere to go. There is also a Special School for young and old. They have a website at Click Here
Pictured from Left to Right are: Me, Patrick Tetteh, Kojo Patrick (In Wheelchair), Christine (Volunteer), Richard Tetteh, Baby Cojo, Kweku Thomas, Solomon Nelson, Kobe.
Some of those pictured are very unwell, in particular Kojo Patrick (Muscular Dystrophy) and Kweku Thomas (Severe mental and physical disorder).
It is my hope that in a country overflowing with Chelsea fans due to the Michael Essien connection, I may have converted some of those I came in contact with to the claret and blue.
I've lost my jersey collection, but I think it was definitely worth it.
With the help of J at Vital Villa, we hope to have organised that these pictures appear in a Villa matchday programme next season, perhaps with a small plea for more jerseys to be sent to the country. I have received a couple of jerseys from Santa_Rosa and Michelsen over at Villa Talk and will send them over before November. I also have been promised much more from the kind folks at Vital Villa. Nothing is given out in the orphanage until Christmas when Papa Obruni visits (Father Christmas: Papa White person). Anything before then from anybody would be greatly appreciated. And afterwards, there's always next Christmas. Like that Corn Flakes ad.
If you'd like to donate a jersey or two from your beloved club, you can send them to the address below and I'll do the rest. I'll also do my best to get another few pictures taken of the kids in the newly arrived jerseys at Christmas time. In exceptional circumstances, I can arrange that my aunt in Cheltenham be posted the jerseys and then she can bring them to Ireland when she next travels over to visit family, but I am unwilling to give her address out publicly and would prefer donations to be sent to the Irish address, as she is in her late 70s. It would be somewhat of an imposition.
My email address is Click Here if anyone would like to get in touch. Not necessarily just to shoot the breeze, I mean more in related to this matter, but you know, whatever.
Date:Wednesday July 23 2008
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