During the summer Pat Mathie and Zena Pastecchia travelled to Inhassune in Mozambique to work voluntarily in a School run by the charity ‘Sing with me Happily’.
Pat and Zena work as Gymnastic coaches in Bournemouth and were introduced to the African school by the sister of the charity founder, Rebecca Spencer, a primary school teacher who is originally from Bournemouth.
They raised money through a number of novel fundraisers to purchase a range of gymnastic and sports equipment, and were also supported financially by The Steve Bernard Foundation, a locally based charity set up in memory of Steve Bernard, who support sporting projects based in Bournemouth and Dorset.
Following an arduous journey, Pat and Zena were warmly welcome in Inhassune by the local people who were delighted with the range of equipment they had brought with them. A young boy was also overjoyed to receive a pair of crutches which would take the place of his well used, makeshift wooden stick.
Whilst in Mozambique Pat and Zena worked with children ranging from 3 years to 15 years old, teaching them gymnastic skills to help develop, strength, co-ordination, balance and spatial awareness and to promote self confidence.
During their two week stay, the enthusiastic coaches also worked with a group of elderly widows from the local village with whom they played maracas and danced to traditional African singing. The pair spent their time living in the local village, where they experienced traditional Mozambique “cuisine” and spent some time with some truly remarkable individuals.
The Steve Bernard Foundation, was proud to sponsor Pat & Zena on their trip to Mozambique. Since it was formed in 2006, the foundation has supported more than 100 projects across 20 sports and 4 continents. These have included various outreach projects in countries such as Thailand, Uganda and Kenya.
For more info about Sing With Me Happily visit: www.singwithmehappily.com
For more info about the Steve Bernard Foundation visit: www.steverbernardfoundation.com