In April 2018 Alan Wolstencroft of Alans Africa and The Westminster Group Foundation was introduced to our community by Neil Fowler from Westminster Aviation Security Services Ltd. They arrived at Mahera Beach with about 70 Oxford United football shirts and handed them out to children of all ages, as well as some knitted garments and blankets to local ladies with young children and then donated some full sets of Oxford United football team kits.
The community were so pleased to receive these kits as it enabled us to start official football teams for the children of this area. I am so proud to be the Manager of Oxford United Mahera Wharf football teams.
Alans Africa and The Westminster Foundation have allowed us to do a community driven initiative to empower young people via football, education skills training and innovation.
We have made a rule that all the children who play for our football teams must go to school and we have taught them about the important values of education and football that will last with them for all time. We also have discussion groups with the children where they can express themselves about football and other worries they might have in their lives. They can talk openly and we can give them advice to help with their worries. The children are also performing well academically.
We now have an under 10, under 12 and under 14 year-old football teams and I have ten coaches who assist me in running these teams.
Before I became the Manager, I did not have much to do in my life as I did not have a job but thanks to Alan, Neil, Westminster and Oxford United, I have developed as a person, I am much more confident, I am better at communication and through the football I meet lots of other people who I can share ideas with. Our football teams have become so successful that children from other communities and even Freetown want to come and join us, this is because of the standards we set and the quality of the kits and equipment we have.
Alan and Neil are regularly in touch with us and during the last year via the Westminster Foundation Alan has sent over more kits and money so that we could buy football boots. Some of the boys are orphans and are currently living in temporary accommodation and Alan, Neil and The Westminster Foundation have supported us by providing mattresses, as the boys currently sleep on the floor, and they helping us to pay to re-roof the accommodation as the roof is very old and leaks in many places. They have also started to pay school fees for a number of boys who are struggling in this area.
I want to thank Alan, Neil, The Westminster Group Foundation and Oxford United for what they have done for the community of Mahera Wharf, Tulun and Amina, they have given the children and adults hope and something positive to focus on through the football teams.
We are very proud to be the Oxford United of Sierra Leone.
Abu Kamara – Mahera Wharf Oxford United