Crouch End cricketer tackling AIDS in Rwanda

A North London cricket coach has flown to Rwanda to help fight the HIV and AIDS epidemic.

A Crouch End cricket coach has flown to Rwanda to help fight the HIV and AIDS epidemic there.

North London coach Greg Mackett has raised more than £3,500 for charity Cricket Without Boundaries, and he is fast approaching his target of £5,000.

“I love the country and more than that, I love the work that Cricket Without Boundaries does,” Mr Mackett said.

The 30-year-old coach will be travelling around Rwanda, teaching cricket in schools and training new cricket coaches.

Most importantly, he will be meeting local communities and training them in the ways they can prevent HIV and AIDS, or how they can manage living with the virus.

“Every candidate finds different rewards,” Mr Mackett said. “For me it’s the moments when the craziness of the cricket calms down and you get to have a very frank open conversation about western culture or sexual health.”

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Mr Mackett toured Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya and Cameroon in two and a half months with the charity in 2014, coaching an impressive total of 20,000 children.

Now he’s back in Rwanda for the third time, with the aim of educating more young cricketers.

“Some of the stories of people’s lives has reduced me to tears,” Mr Mackett said. “They are just unimaginable in the world that we live in back in Britain.”

In 2011, there were an estimated 23.5m people living with HIV in Sub-Saharan Africa, according to figures from Cricket Without Boundaries.

Approximately 2.9 per cent of the population in Rwanda suffer from HIV.

Women aged 15-24 years are twice as likely to be infected than men and there is a higher rate of the virus in urban areas.

Cricket Without Boundaries funds local ambassadors in the countries they work in who carry on the work of their volunteers, such as Mr Mackett.

It also pays for the kwik cricket equipment they leave behind in the schools they coach in.

- To visit Greg Mackett’s Just Giving page, see: