Rochdale Karate Club raises funds to help struggling families in Uganda
A karate club has raised Â£ 150 to help Ugandan families battling the effects of Covid.
The Wardleworth-based Rochdale Warriors Karate Club raised Â£ 150 which was sent to families in Uganda via the Drumbeat charity over Christmas time.
The money was enough to buy bags of grain, bread and yams and will help feed several families for weeks.
Drumbeat is a charity where people can sponsor a Ugandan child to school with all excess money spent on health care.
Sensei Damien McLaughlin had already raised Â£ 500 from the club three years ago but wanted to help now due to the effects of Covid.
Peter Williams, whose father Peter set up Drumbeat, is a senior assistant instructor at the karate club and said the donation was a “beautiful” thing for Damien.
“Covid hit there in different ways, families can’t afford to eat because all the prices have gone up, and so have the prices of schools,” said Peter, who lives in Whitworth.
âMany families were short of food and money, so Damien’s contribution from the club went there to directly feed the families who did not have enough to eat.
âDamien kept the club going during the pandemic, but his first thought is to try and gift someone else. “
Peter’s father started the association eight years ago after sponsoring a child, Mugwanya Johnbosco (John), through another association.
Now Peter Snr runs the association alongside John and has visited every year to run summer camps – where they also gave karate lessons.
John presented the gift of the Warriors at a Christmas party.
âThree years ago we went to make a camp and Damien said he would like to raise some money and that we were able to support a family that cooked and ate in the same small space,â said Peter Jnr .
âWe used the money to buy materials and built an outdoor shelter. “
âUntil Covid, we used to go there every year to do a summer camp with the kids and get to know the people we sponsored.â
However, Peter, 44, said the pandemic meant they had to suspend much of their normal fundraising activities.
He said: ‘Covid has meant we haven’t been able to do so many functions, we play in bands, we have concerts and sell pies to the local church but we couldn’t due to restrictions .
âWe went from a charity that had a handful of sponsored children to now supporting 90 children in education there.
âThe charity is a smaller charity that allows us to have a personal connection. “