Written By: MAPLE Microdevelopment
Bernard, a shortstop for the MAPLE baseball team in Lira, Uganda, talks about his experience with school and baseball, what they mean for his life, and what he wants for his future.
What is your experience with baseball? Do you feel you have come a long way?
“I love baseball and this sport has changed my life mentally and physically, I know I have a lot to do to get better but I can’t stop or quit. I want to become somebody in the future and working hard with class work and baseball will get me there. If this dream came true I would put up baseball fields in my country and facilities for others to play in. I love to see a big impact from this sport in my country and my life. Thank you MAPLE for bringing this experience to us, I am proud to be involved.” Bernard
Bernard goes on to talk about his love of Baseball, and the appreciation he has for his two coaches from MAPLE, Bernard and Mark:
"It is about two years now since I play baseball and I want to keep going. My first experience involved with baseball was last year in May when I went to the little league baseball tournament at the age of 10 with my teammates who made it there. I personally had a lot to do for myself from what I saw from the teams that came to the tournament and how well they played. I looked at their level of play and said to myself, 'I will be the best I can be next year,' and this is still how I feel."
"I feel I have gotten better physically , morally, and mentally which makes me stronger from last year. I celebrate my coaches Bernard and Mark for building this confidence in me. I thought I would never come this far, after wanting to give up and quit several times last year. This is a new sport to me. I had never seen this game until last year when it was introduced to my school, and now it is my preferred and best sport in my life. I don’t know what will stop me, maybe if there is no one to keep me going... I can’t stop thinking about baseball. It has brought a smile and happiness to my life and my family for several reasons. Coach Bernard and Mark are my inspiration in this sport, they have been there for my betterment and I celebrate them always. May God keep them going as we enjoy our career with this great sport, for they are skillful and have got talent that we need to get better each day. Thank you all." Bernard
Bernard’s story of inspiration and empowerment is one of many.
Since 2008, MAPLE has been working in post-conflict Uganda to help build the dreams and futures of strong, intelligent, and motivated youth. Through MAPLE’s Sports Training program for baseball and softball, children learn skills they need on the field and skills they need in life. They learn about hard work, team work, discipline, and leadership. In a country where nearly 50% of the population is age 0-14, the people of Uganda are depending on a capable youth ,with these skills and abilities, to raise its communities out of extreme poverty.
This story of success and empowerment is only one of the nearly 60 projects MAPLE can tell from Africa and South America.
If you would like to hear more about other projects, or more about MAPLE and what we do and how we do it, check out the rest of our website, visit our Facebook page, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With the continued help of our amazing supporters, volunteers, interns, and staff, we will continue to find community-based grassroots solutions help communities in Africa and South America achieve financial independence and foster well-being for generations to come.