How much does a regular 8 year old know about Millennium Development Goal 5? Perhaps not much. But if you had been wandering through Queens’ Square in Bristol last Saturday, you may have been surprised to see quite how many children were quickly becoming MDG experts.
From trying to filter dirty water, to a risky game of healthcare snakes and ladders, children who attended Oxfam’s colourful corner of Soccer Jam found the opportunity to enjoy 8 activities, each corresponding to a different MDG. Each activity had a story behind it, and amid the healthy competition that many of the games unwittingly encouraged (generally involving water, and generally involving cunning younger sisters being much more adept at ‘before school water collection’ than their older brothers) many children were keen to learn about the lives of other children in poorer countries, who lead very different lives to them.
At the end of that challenge, they tried their hand at hitting all eight MDGs by shooting balls into very tricky little goals; it wasn’t easy but lots of them managed it – so surely world leaders need to step up to the plate?! Thank you to the Cookery School at Bordeaux Quay for donating a cookery class and the Co-op for donating prizes to this activity.
Soccer Jam, an event organised by Bristol City Council, was the perfect opportunity for Oxfam South West and the Bristol Oxfam Group to get Bristol’s football fans excited about the Don’t Drop the Ball on Aid campaign. As well as the MDG activities, and collecting keepy uppys for the campaign, there was also a competition for the most keepy uppys. This was won rather unanimously by Craig Gorey, a professional freestyle footballer who managed 467 keepy uppys without breaking a sweat. He generously forewent his prize and donated it to the next highest winner who still impressed us all with 55, and won a healthy organic veg box donated by the Better Food Company to fuel future training… Be sure to check out Craig’s amazing skills. Runners up received fairtrade footballs and prizes donated by our local Co-op store.
Meanwhile, on the big screen usually used to air nail biting World Cup matches, more keepy uppy action was taking place. Lee Johnson and David Clarkson from Bristol City Football Club were to be heard spreading the word about the Don’t Drop the Ball on Aid campaign, as the short film they recorded for Oxfam was viewed by all attending Soccer Jam. Oxfam South West had been lucky enough to visit the players at Ashton Gate Stadium and record not only their swish keepy uppy skills, but also their message to world leaders. Their support for the campaign has proved that Bristol is a city that refuses to drop the ball!
From freestylers to professionals and scarf decoration to water filtration; Soccer Jam proved to be a day full of excitement and a hub of activity; a real boost to the Don’t Drop the Ball on Aid campaign. Thank you to all who participated in our events, supported our campaign and to the Cookery School at Bordeaux Quay, the Better Food Company and the Co-op for donating prizes.
- Don’t Drop The Ball On Aid
- Oxfam calls on football fans to join the world’s longest game of keepy uppy – and tell leaders not to drop the ball
- England dropped the ball in the World Cup – but we’re not dropping the ball on aid
- Southampton keeps the ball in the air for aid
- Bristol Harbour Festival: help needed with our family activities!