Volunteer’s Trip 2022: Day 10 (11th October 2022)

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The final push.


The day started very early for the filming crew comprising of Alec, Drame, Carlos, and Doug. Alpha Yaya Barry URBOND’s star pupil would be the focus of the crew chronicling a day in his life. Alpha is an early riser 5am to be precise so the eager film crew were up at 4:30 to set off to his family home in Dubreka. Navigating the dirty roads in the pitch black the team made it to the home just in time. Alpha’s Mother and Father came to the door and welcomed the crew to experience a moment in their life. The house was set out on one floor and had only two floors. The first room was both the living room, kitchen, and bedroom for the parents. To the right was a mattress on the floor, with a small table area that was used for kitchen utensils. The family struggle to eat on a daily basis and often sustain themselves on hot water and traditional tea for breakfast.

The team entered Alpha’s room at the back of the house, and it was very sweet to see Alpha asleep with his two younger sisters. This time there was a double bed with a mosquito net to cover the children as they sleep. A young and sleepy Alpha then rose out of bed and helped his sister slip through the mosquito net.

Meanwhile back at the school, With only 2 days left until the URBOND volunteers fly home to England, the designated play area, sponsored by Richmond Motor Group was yet to be painted. Heavy rain had affected progress with the initial concrete surfacing taking much longer than anticipated, which meant the court markings were unable to be started. The play area would be shared between basketball and volleyball activities. Both sports are huge in the Republic of Guinea, with a very well established, and popular, volleyball team in Dubreka. The team recently lost the use of their current volleyball facilities as the private owner required the land back. Therefore, the new community facility will prove to be a lifeline for the passion for volleyball to be continued.

The basketball hoops were bespoke built by local Blacksmiths. There are complex and impressive structures which are sure to stand the test of time. The hoops have also been custom made and are waiting to be hung from the back boards. The colour scheme for the court will be the URBOND colours of black, yellow, and white. A very striking design which will stand out as a bright light for opportunity in the community with the new fencing providing crucial safe playing environment for the young kids Away from cars and other dangers.

Local artist, Alseny Camara, who completed the signage on the 2021 trip was back in town to project manage the colouring and signage of the sports facility. Another important task for the volunteers is for them to sign the wall of the bibliotheque with their hand print and signature. The 2021 volunteers handprints stand pride of place in the corner, and the 2022 team started to sign clockwise around from their predecessors. Within a matter of years, the whole building will be covered with the handprints of the people that helped to build and preserve the facilities for the community.

By 3pm there was no sign of rain so the timing was crucial to paint the main court surface black. 2 feet of yellow paint was then painted around the border to set off the side lines of the court. As the mission was time critical, every volunteer, as well as community members, were called upon. URBOND CEO Drame frantically made trips to the local paint shops to ensure a constant supply of painting materials. As 5pm approached the black court and yellow border were coming to completion. The halfway marking and key basketball court markings were outlined by the local artist in preparation to apply that evening. Everyone was praying for the rain to hold off so that the painting could be finished, and dried, for the inauguration the following day.

As night fell it was only Drame and resident videographer Alec who remained a very long day for the two men who were up at 4:30am. Storms were forecast after 9pm so the race was on to finish the court markings within the next 2 hours. The two volunteers, along with a team of locals, finished the court just as the heavens started to open up. So, the locals retired back to their homes and Drame drove Alec back to the hotel for a well-deserved rest. Aerial shots of the sports facility were taken on the drone, which looked just like the initial designs.

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