Live Active Leisure, the independent sports and fitness trust in Perth and Kinross, has been involved in helping the Wanangwa Community Initiative in Malawi by sending their old uniforms to those living in rural areas of the African country.
Live Active changed the staff uniforms at the end of summer 2017, with the old clothing collected and packaged to be taken to Malawi on the 18th September by Lilian and Stewart Mackenzie, helped by their two grandsons.
The Wanangwa Community Initiative was aiming to get netball uniforms and football strips to help keep the youths of Malawi out of trouble and to halt the rising problems of drugs, alcohol and the spread of HIV/AIDS and underage girls falling pregnant. Highland Perthshire’s youth football team Breadalbane Strathtay also donated old football strips to the same cause back in 2015.
Lilian Mackenzie, who is involved with the Wanangwa Community Initiative, said: “We had collected and packed all of the Live Active uniforms in large holdalls and headed out on the 18th September this year with our two grandsons. KLM allowed us an increased luggage allowance and we had 8X23 kilogram bags between us!
“This is a country where so many of the children can’t even afford a pencil for school let alone clothing, so you can see why the uniforms are cherished by them all and really a dream to come true. Live Active has clothed so many people in our area.”
As well as being used for clothing, many of the Live Active uniforms are being used by the girls’ netball teams in the area and this has allowed the young women to take part in the local leagues, something they were previously unable to do.
Lilian added: “Live Active has given these girls dignity and an identity – something that is a very rare thing out here. The netball team has an identity now as the uniform allows them to represent the Wanangwa area.”
Tracey Greer, Facility Operations Manager for Live Active Leisure, said: “When we heard about the fantastic work that Lilian and her husband Stewart had been doing with the Wanangwa Community Initiative out in Malawi, we realised that we were in a position to help and thought that by donating the old uniforms to the local people there we could make a real difference.
“It’s been incredible to see the pictures of everyone wearing the Live Active uniforms and from what Lilian has said, the people of Wanangwa have really cherished and appreciated our donation.”
There are no trips planned for the year ahead but Lilian hopes to be heading back out to Malawi in 2019.