Uganda poverty an ‘eye-opener’ for Darius

Author:
Paul Stimpson

Publish date:

Please note - this news article was published more than five years ago. Some of the information contained may no longer be correct.

Darius Knight admits his trip to Uganda with the Right To Play charity was “a bit of an eye-opener”.

The London-based player spent four days in the East African country, seeing at first hand the work the charity does to help the personal and educational development of youngsters.

Darius, who has been an ambassador for the charity for a number of years, visited school and community projects in the capital, Kampala, and the surrounding area where Right To Play teach life skills such as teamwork and fair play through sport and play.

“It was very emotional for me”, said Darius. “I’ve been to China and India but seeing the poverty in Africa was completely different. How they live is beyond liveable, lots of people in a tiny room, it’s unacceptable.

“I knew I was going to get a reality check but not as much as that. The average wage there is $500 a year. It just makes you think, being British we’ve got nothing to complain about.

IMG_9075 smaller

“Even if you don’t get the best start in life, even if you lose your mum and dad, you get looked after here. If you’re ill, you’re looked after. They’re dying because they don’t have the money for a vaccination.

“It was a bit of an eye-opener for me – we’ve got nothing to complain about in this country.”

Even in the midst of poverty, Darius saw the power of sport to transform lives.

He said: “The kids are happy playing sport and massively passionate about it. They’ve got one football between 100 kids and they’re all very happy playing without markings or goals.

053 smaller

“They play sport because it’s their way of escaping. It was like that for me with table tennis but my reality was nowhere near theirs. I didn’t have to finish school and then go to work, I had food to eat.

“It was great to find out more about what Right to Play does as a charity and to see what money I’ve helped to raise is going to.

“All the kids are so smart, they all speak fluent English.They really appreciate people like us coming over and they never had to be asked to say thank you. I felt like I was doing something meaningful.”

Find out more about Right To Play’s life-changing work with children on their website by clicking here

Share this article

MENU

profile