Student Jake Cutting, 17, from County Upper School, in Bury St Edmunds, discovered he faced a real challenge during a recent visit to Kenya.
Jake’s trip, which helped to raise money for communities in Suffolk and Kenya, saw the teenager coach football and sports to children and adults in Nakuru over a two week period coaching football to 300 children – with just 10 cones, six balls and one hula hoop.
Jake, from Cranesill Drive, Moreton Hall, was part of the Ipswich Town FC Charitable Trust team which visited western Kenya as part of a community project.
He said: “It was an amazing experience, it was completely different to this country, people had nothing and what they did have, they shared with you.”
“Apart from teaching sports, Jake had a chance to venture into the local towns and experience what life was like for many people in the country.
“I saw other parts of the country and was shocked as shops were just shacks and when the jeep stopped I was always surrounded by local people wanting to talk,” he said.
Even though most of the children did not know a word of English, Jake successfully put together a sports day for the 300 children with just 10 cones, six balls and one hula hoop.
The trip raised money for two schools in Kenya to each build a shop and purchase souvenirs to sell to improve their income.
Jake said: “This is vitally important as some days there is not enough food to feed all the children and this extra income will go to seeing that this does not happen.”
Sponsorship money for Jake’s trip also allowed the ITFC Charitable Trust to buy a new mini bus to transport children and disabled teams around Suffolk.
Jake personally raised just over £2,000 for the trip and said he was grateful for help from local firms, family and friends as well as his school.
Donations also came from the funeral of his late grandmother Edie at her request.