Being Part of Project Africa

In the past year I have had the opportunity to learn a lot about the many ways that William Hill and our colleagues support charities in the United Kingdom and I have been extremely inspired by the efforts made, which have benefitted charities through both monetary donations and instances where our colleagues have offered their time and energy.

Having the opportunity to be part of Project Africa has been a life changing experience. In the past few months I have had experiences that I have learned from and which I have had the privilege of sharing with my colleagues, my family and friends.

The best part of all this has been the opportunity to make a difference. We learned so much when we visited in October and I am greatly pleased that we are utilising that knowledge to guide our actions for our trip in February.

Robbie Savage led the way as the Patron of Project Africa and made it possible for us to raise funds through a very successful celebrity football match on December 9th 2012.

Efforts such as these are humbling, because good people put their energy into them and make them happen. Even better than that, the funds raised from these events go directly to support the children at the Island School.

These funds are used to buy things we regard as basic such as pairs of shoes, footballs, pairs of socks, bowls, school bags etc.

Being African myself, Project Africa for me is even more personal. As much as I have been in situations where issues exist and found others in need, Project Africa has for the first time, allowed me the opportunity to do something about it and to give back.

Over the past few months I have spoken at team meetings to build awareness and found ways to raise funds to support Project Africa. Things I never would have had the opportunity to be part of.

The knowledge that the Project is funded and managed by the William Hill Foundation is of real encouragement to me. For me it means that none of the funds my colleagues and I raise are used for administration cost such as;

  • Tickets for visiting project team members
  • Accommodation for project team members

As simple as this sounds, this makes Project Africa quite unique in regards to the funds that are raised being used solely to support the project and to change the lives of the children.

With the help of everyone at William Hill we have recently launched the Project Africa Shoe Appeal. The concept is simple, for me it is all about HOME.

Doing small things in our own parts of the William Hill world  that add up to yield a significant impact as a company.

Knowing that for a one pound coin I helped to get a child a pair of shoes, a school bag, a bowl, a football they might never have had, is a truly wonderful experience.

The focus goes more than just fundraising; it’s more about building awareness and generating support for the children in Kenya.

I received a call yesterday from a colleague who had heard about Project Africa and the Shoe Appeal. Her enthusiasm and determination to help was overwhelming and for me having a colleague like that out there, who is willing to help the children at the Island School makes all the difference, because the truth is, alone I can make a very small difference, but with the help of my colleagues I can do a whole lot more.

I am extremely excited to be going back, so please stay tuned for more updates.

Happy New Year.

Cyril Bekoe
District Operations Manager