One of Malta’s most accomplished rugby teams The Stompers took a small break from kicking ass on the field to have one of their own head to Ethiopia to help out in some of the most impoverished area in the country.
Matthew Spiteri is a prop forward for the Stompers, and was visiting Ethiopia to inaugurate five new kindergartens for the local villagers and townspeople.
While in the Jimma Bonga region, Matthew also went a step further and wanted to help some of the people he was meeting on a daily basis.
In meeting with the locals, Matthew soon realised that a lot of essential items for a dignified life were missing. So Matthew went ahead and bought everything from mattresses to medical attention to poultry and farm animals to help get the locals on their way.
These items were bought with money raised at the Stomper’s Annual Christmas Dinner last year.
A representative from the Stompers told Lovin Malta that the “Sliema Stompers RFC is extremely proud of Matthew and grateful for having had the opportunity to contribute in some way. We encourage a family atmosphere at the club, and players (both past and present) jumped at the opportunity to extend a helping hand. This is not our first charitable enterprise as a club, but we do feel that this time is unique, as Matthew went out of his way to make a real difference in some people’s every day lives. His hands-on approach is truly commendable, and will inspire the rest of the team to be better persons both on and off the field”
Matthew on his part spoke to Lovin Malta about the incredible experience.
“I go to Ethiopia as part of the administration of Kilimanjaro Challenge, and on behalf of Dun Gorg Grima’s Missionary movement. While still alive Dun George used to always take us on walkabouts to meet the local people. This time round I thought I’d collect money and actually help directly in small cases,” he said.
“Usually charities collect in bulk and one would not know where his/her donation is going, so in this case we wanted to get directly involve. So when I arrived I arranged with the Local Sisters there, specifically Sister Birke Mamo, to take me around the locality, and I got to visit about 10 cases.”
“Mostly we gave them money to buy poultry and goats to sustain themselves in the long term. Two brothers that lost their family recently were sleeping on twigs so I bought them mattresses. We also paid for the treatment of a scalp condition of two boys from Chara, which involved a trip to Jimma and a visit to a skin specialist,” he continued.
“We also found a young women who has bad eyesight (she’s being treated as a blind woman) and she had to travel to the capital city to get spectacles so we sent her to get an eye test and we are sending her a pair from Malta. And with the remaining money we paid for a month’s running of the sisters’ school as well as a women training program that the sisters’ also host,” he said.
Having seen the response to this sort of small charity system, with direct results, Matthew is currently working on a web system on www.1000team.org where people can fund online small projects complemented with photos, quotations and reports so it is as transparent as possible.