Touraid (www.touraid.org) is a children's charity that establishes sustainable relationships between schools and clubs in the UK with similar organisations around the globe that support disadvantaged children. Touraid sees rugby as a catalyst for these partnerships and the conduit for the resulting educational, cultural and social benefits to the visiting teams and host children.
In May 2009 a squad of fourteen young men and their coaches from the Umzingisi Foundation arrived in the UK on a a tour to Saffron Walden. They were hosted by Saffron Walden High school and families from Saffron Walden Rugby Club.
Nick Mould from Umzingisi said, "These boys that are coming to you on a cultural and sporting exchange will become more equipped than many of their peers to change their situation. I cannot even describe it as a dream come true, because for most of them it would have been far too unrealistic to even dream of visiting a foreign country let alone one as far away as Europe".
This was an incredible opportunity for these youngsters, most had never travelled beyond the township where they live. The boys participated in a mini rugby festival, visited Twickenham to watch the Guinness Cup final, saw Buckingham palace and went boating in Cambridge. The experience gave the tourists and their host families a fantasic opportunity to experience a different culture and hopefully long term bonds have been forged between the two communities. A big thanks goes out to everyone involved who made this happen.
In September 2007, ten teams took part in the U14s World Cup at Esher and Richmond rugby clubs. Participants were underprivileged kids from India, Kenya, Cambodia, Moldova, Rwanda, Swaziland, Zambia and South Africa, teamed with UK schools for a life changing experience.
The Oliver Foundation sponsored LEAP school from Cape Town who are the only privately funded MST (Maths, Science and Technology) school in South Africa.
Chester Williams commented, "I am staggered at the ability, athleticism and enthusiasm of all the teams. They play unbelievable rugby for children of their age and experience, while also being very disciplined."
U14 World Cup, LEAP school from South Africa at Esher RFC