Walsall unites to donate football items to Indian Orphanage
CHILDREN at an Indian orphanage have discovered the beautiful game after being gifted football strips, balls and goal posts – thanks to a number of sponsors including Walsall Housing Group (whg) and Walsall FC.
Whg Community Champion Shelly Bray and 11 others spent 10 days living and working in Adhra Pradesh in southern India.
The volunteers, all members of The Church on the Corner in Bentley, focused their efforts on Mercy Mission, which includes an orphanage, school, health centre, skills workshop, Bible training college and church.
whg donated football shirts and £200 while others, including Walsall FC and individuals from the community, contributed footballs, football boots and goal posts so the children could enjoy the sport.
Mother-of-two Shelly said: “The children were so happy when we gave them the sports equipment and soon tried the shirts on for size. Since coming home the teaching staff have emailed us to say the boys are always playing football at break times.”
The visitors spent their time decorating the orphanage, which accommodates several hundred youngsters in cramped conditions, and teaching in the school.
Shelly said the trip had had a profound effect on her. “It really opened my eyes. It was wonderful and upsetting all at once. The people – adults and children alike – were amazing, joyful characters but their opportunities to make better lives for themselves seemed bleak.
“I’m determined to go back with my own daughters in time so we can help as a family and they can see how different life is for children their age living in other countries.”