Blizzards in Rwanda ! Thanks to Alan Rickwood and the Calgary Blizzard Soccer Club for the donation of the Travelling Jerseys, soccer has helped to connect the world once again. A group of teachers travelled through Rwanda visiting genocide memorial sites, Agacera Game Park and the world famous Ruwenzori gorillas. However, no experience was more thrilling and rewarding than the opportunity we had to donate soccer (football) jerseys to a number of schools and orphanages around Rwanda . Because of the 1994 genocide where approximately 1 million people were killed, many children were left without parents or any extended family. Many of these children have been accommodated in orphanages where they are housed, schooled and cared for.

While driving through the countryside we watched children in dusty fields playing soccer with soccer “balls” fashioned from dried reeds, rolled and tied. Many of these children basically have nothing and the donation of the Blizzard jerseys was often greeted with cheering, dancing and even weeping. At one school, when I opened the bag of jerseys and pulled out the bright orange, black and white colours of the Blizzard Soccer Club, the teachers clapped and the principal kept shaking my hand saying, “Congratulations, congratulations!” Blizzard Soccer Club, please accept this letter of thanks from me and the children of Rwanda .

Darla Maxwell