Lesotho orphans trip to see London Welsh
Eighteen young rugby enthusiasts from the orphanage project, TY Academy, in Lesotho attended London Welsh's Premiership Rugby fixture against Sale Sharks on Sunday as guests of QBE, the business insurance specialist.
QBE employee Chris Hart organised the trip to the Kassam Stadium on behalf of his local rugby club, Braintree RFC, who hosted the children from TY Academy. Braintree RFC worked with the Federation of Lesotho Rugby and touraid to give these boys a once in a lifetime trip to the UK and an opportunity to experience the joy of rugby. For the families involved in hosting them, it was an opportunity to learn first-hand about life in Lesotho.
On their return home, pathways have been put in place for the TY youngster's to continue to develop their rugby skills and for them to return as role models and mentors in their own right. The TY boys have already been earmarked to join the SKRUM Lesotho volunteers where they will use rugby as a vehicle to raise awareness of HIV and Aids and educate children in primary and secondary schools across Lesotho.
Chris Hart, Multinational Network Lead, QBE European Operations said: "The trip to see London Welsh was a fantastic end to an amazing week for everyone involved. All the boys had a great time and the experience will hopefully live long in their memories. I'd like to thank London Welsh and Gavin Henson for their kindness and hospitality."
Andy Berry, CEO, touraid said: "For us the tour starts when the children, all of whom are orphans, return home. With the newly formed Federation of Lesotho Rugby and Skrum Lesotho kick-starting a countrywide HIV and Aids education programme we fully expect these lads to be involved in coaching others very soon. The thought that these lads will become the mainstay of Lesotho age groups rugby is fantastic."