A whole army of little kids from the LIV Village orphanage near Durban, will be going to Kings Park on Saturday to watch the Currie Cup Final between the Sharks vs Western Province… all because of one very simple idea that knew no boundaries…
Last Friday afternoon I was sitting at my desk at work thinking how awesome it would be to be at Kings Park the following day to watch the Sharks smash The Bulls in the Currie Cup Semi Final. This is when a little idea popped into my head, obviously there was no chance I’d be able to be there, so why not give someone the chance to enjoy it for me, let someone have the chance to experience something that hold close to my heart and something that I still pine over every time the Sharks have a home game after living in the UK for the past 11 years. And thats when I fired off the following tweet which was the spark of something awesome…
@thesharksza short notice, but I would like to give 20 disadvantaged kids the chance 2 watch game tomoro,will buy scholr tkts,any1 in mind?
— Marky Warren (@PharSideUK) October 19, 2012
Shortly afterwards The Sharks replied and suggested I got in touch with LIV Village. LIV Village, which is situated just north of Durban is home to children who have been orphaned due to HIV/AIDS and children that have also been rescued from abuse. It runs in a very interesting way whereby children are placed in a house with around five other children and a mother that looks after them which supports a close family environment. So within minutes of my tweet, SharksWorld jumped in and offered to increase it to 30 kids… things started to roll. Minutes later I was on the phone with Carita from LIV Village giving her the run down of what we wanted to do. Unfortunately a few phone calls later, it was decided that the idea would be a logistical impossibility given that it was already 6pm in SA the day before the game. I decided this wasn’t going give up, so offered to do it the following weekend if the Sharks made the Final which may be even better since I’m going to be there and I could get to meet all the kids. In the meantime on Facebook, people read about the idea on my status update and started offering to sponsor kids to go to the game until we had enough to sponsor around 50 kids to go to the game. I quickly asked Carita how many kids they had at the orphanage I quickly realised that we wouldn’t only be taking a small portion of the kids, we could virtually take them all!… apart from the really young ones who would be too young to go. So it was decided, we were going to take 46 kids to the game along with a few older volunteers who would look after them while they were there.
I could barely contain my excitement of what we were going to do for these little people, to give them such a great opportunity that they wouldn’t normally have, I’m told the kids couldn’t contain their excitement at all and were absolutely ecstatic that they would be going to the Currie Cup Final to support their heros.. after all you just have to take a look at their website to realise what massive Sharks fans these kids are!
We found we had a slight hurdle after the semi when the ticket prices were released since they were substantially more than anticipated (a jump from R70 to R170), however once again this wasn’t going to stop me from getting all 46 kids to the game, so on Tuesday morning 50 tickets were purchased for the game on Saturday, I’d made a promise to these kids and I certainly was going to live up to that promise since at the end of the day, can you really put a price on the absolute enjoyment being at the game will bring to these kids lives? I think not…
Support from friends and family has been outstanding with offers to sponsor the kids which will allow me to still personally sponsor 20 kids but still make sure all 46 kids get the chance to go to the game, and those who will be sponsoring will most definitely get a massive thank you in a follow up post with pics of the kids having a great time at the game, so they can see what joy they helped bring to these kids.
It just goes to show what a small little idea by very normal person sitting at his desk on a Friday afternoon, that sparks a simple random act of kindness that results in a massive positive impact on so many lives. Hopefully in the future many more lives too, since this has now sparked the idea of a possible initiative called “Games For Kids” where we try to give more underprivileged kids from other orphanages the opportunity to experience something that they never would normally experience, a game at Kings Park, something which many may take for granted, yet these are ones that certainly won’t. Little dreams may be sparked with something to aspire to, they just need that opportunity to experience it.
So when you’re watching the game on Saturday at the stadium or on the TV, look out for a little army of kids in Sharks jerseys and red caps in the scholars section behind the posts with huge smiles on their faces… that will be the kids from LIV Village!
Check out this video of life at LIV Village
Make sure you check out the LIV Village website to see the outstanding work they are doing for these kids!