A Refugee from War-torn Congo
This picture, taken on 27th November 2014 at Nairobi School, shows a boy named Joel Blessing at the crease. Joel lives in the Kangemi slums and Emmanuel Opura, Lead Coach of the Nairobi School EACDT ‘Holiday Camp’, tells us that Joel and his family are refugees from the Congo, having escaped the war there, first ending up at the Kakuma Refugee Camp near the Sudan border which is currently home to close on 180,000 refugees.
As the picture shows, Joel is very determined…he is also very talented. Cricket is, as it is for the majority of the other children in the programme, very new to him, but already his innate natural ability and youthful enthusiasm combine to suggest he could be quite a player.
Joel is also a talented artist and recently approached Emmanuel with four small drawings he had done of cricketers: a batsman, a bowler, a fielder and a wicket-keeper. Our Programme Director, David Waters MBE, has promised to buy him a proper artist’s drawing pad and in return Emmanuel has promised to repeat the drawings on a larger scale. So, watch this space…
Incidentally, the girl in the background is wearing a skirt kindly donated by St Edward’s School, Oxford, but she has no running shoes. She can, however, throw a ball better than most of the boys!