While many students spent their summers at recreational camps or hanging out at home, Liam Maclure spent most of his on a charity mission to East Africa. The Grade 8 SMUS student travelled to Tanzania to bring soccer supplies donated by SMUS students to the locals. “There was a lot of culture shock,” says Liam. “It’s weird to see a five-star hotel surrounded by nothing and be served food when people around you are starving.”
Tanzania, which neighbours Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Mozambique, was Liam’s chosen destination because his mother was born there. She, along with his father and his grandmother, accompanied him on his trip. Recently, Liam presented a short video on his trip and experiences to some of his schoolmates.
While there, Liam had the opportunity to coach and run drills with the soccer-playing locals he brought equipment for, who were adults between the ages of 18-31. “Soccer is kind of their entertainment,” says Liam. “Most of them don’t have anything else to do,” referring to the high unemployment rate.
Though his 28-day trip was largely for charity, Liam did enjoy himself. “It was funny coaching them, because they were all better than me,” he says with a laugh. Liam also managed to visit the nearby island of Zanzibar and go on an amazing safari, where he saw “everything but leopards and rhinoceroses.”
Liam found the trip eye-opening. “I realized how fortunate we are here,” says Liam. “I know that’s really cliché, but it’s also really true.”