Rugby stars support Africa Mission

Published Thursday, 30 January 2014
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Ulster Rugby Stars Ruan Pienaar and Johann Muller are backing a cross-community project which is seeing young people cross the peace lines to carry out charitable work in South Africa.

Rugby stars support Africa Mission
Johann Muller is supporting the young people's work in his homeplace. (© Getty)

Young people from Ardoyne and the Shankill area of north Belfast will travel to the South African township of Blanco next Friday for two weeks.

They will get the opportunity to help rebuild the local township, help the sick, feed the poor, engage with young prisoners about their life stories and gain valuable experience in various cultural backgrounds.

For the past six months the young people have been planning and fundraising for their journey to Africa - and in turn developing and maintaining relationships through event planning, sports events and engaging in programmes such as leadership skills.

Fintan Marley and Darryl McLaughlin met through at Hammer Youth Club and Fintan they have grown a "strong friendship".

"As a boy growing up in a sort of rough background, not really at once stage in my life did I think I was going to be this close with a boy from Ardoyne," Darryl added.

Pienaar and Muller are supporting the youngsters in the project and wished them well on their travels.

"They are going to George, my hometown where I was born and raised, I've still got a family farm down there. It's just great to see kids from over here going to South Africa to support a great cause," Ulster skipper Muller said.

Alan Waite, Belfast2Blanco leader added: "It's the relationships that it's built, not only between the group of young people in Shankill and Ardoyne but the relationships they build within the townships.

"The most important thing about it all is actually what our young people do with the experience when they come back."

The young people will be logging their experiences on the Belfast 2 Blanco website.
© UTV News
Comments Comments
Lorna in Belfast wrote (360 days ago):
And they will love it, having been on a similar programme with Springboard, if anywhere can change a person and their outlook on what our problems are, it's South Africa. Enjoy it.
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