Ex Volunteer: Joseph Thirkill Donates to Rising Stars of Africa

The pandemic that struck us in 2020-2022 was one that modern society should never have to see again. It could be compared to global events such as 9/11, World War 2 or even the Spanish Flu. Upon speaking to different people it seemed as though everyone’s experience of the pandemic was non-ubiquitous. With that being said, some people found it financially rewarding as they didn’t spend as much commuting for work, socials and other expending activities. On the other hand, those who depended on people spending money to travel to organizations to partake in work or volunteering found it immensely difficult to sustain their missions due to said pandemic. This leads me on to my next point: what I want to do in this article is simply discuss what my mission was and why I decided to set on it.

Mission: To raise money for the Rising Stars of Africa by competing in the United Kingdom Ultimate Physique 2022

In 2016 whilst at the Nottingham Trent University (NTU), I was fortunate enough to partake in an International Placement in Ghana, Accra. This placement was to undertake Sports Psychology for the Rising Starts of Africa. The premise was to use the foundational knowledge that I learnt at NTU and apply it out there. It conducted practical and theoretical frameworks to understand motivation, confidence, concentration and experiment with practical methods such as simulation training. In order for me to go to Ghana, I had to spend a generous amount of money in order to do so. Now, it is very important that the I state that the majority of the money that I spent towards the organisation goes towards the children’s food, clothing, beds and so on. Here is where my mission correlates with everything.

When we entered the pandemic, it meant that travel restrictions were put in place to prevent the spread of the virus. The implications that arose from this was that volunteers could not go out to help the Rising Stars Programme in Ghana, but it also meant that the aspiring athletes could not get money for the aforementioned. This gave me the idea of wanting to raise money for the young athletes. I had the ‘what’, but not the ‘how’. With me turning thirty this year, I decided to compete in a Bodybuilding show one last time as a ‘last hoorah’ towards my twenties. This could combine my ‘what’ with my ‘how’!

By definition, Bodybuilding is to develop the musculoskeletal system whilst having an extremely low body fat percentage. Once achieved, you go on to a stage and you compete with other competitors to see who has the best physique. I had managed to develop my physique, compete on stage, win my category and raise £2290 for the Rising Stars of Africa. 

This money has gone towards buying things such as:

  • Brickwork for the Football Ground Locker Room/ Hostel;
  • Whole foods for a month (grains, maize, beans, groundnut paste and rice);
  • Mattresses

Moving forward, I have given some thought about going over to Ghana again to help create something more tangible. I have been having exciting talks with the United Kingdom founder, James Dzandza regarding helping to build and develop the Football ground in Ghana. I may even look to do another Bodybuilding show to raise more money. The options are endless. 

Thank you Rising Start of Africa for motivating me to help raise and donate money for such a profound cause. 

To fundraise, kindly contact info@risingstarsofafrica.com or visit our fundraise page at: Fundraise – Rising Stars of Africa

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