Rwanda prepares for World Cup in Mexico

Here’s a feel good story for you. In January, 2011, the Rwanda U17 football team – or Junior Wasps as they are know locally – qualified for the U17 World Cup that will take place in Mexico, in June. The team’s success comes 17 years after the 1994 Genocide. The players were all born in the post-Genocide period. The team got to Mexico on merit, and in many ways they’ve come to symbolise the hopes and aspirations of the entire nation.

I’ve spent the past week with Claudio von Planta and Sorious Samura working on a documentary film following the teenagers in Rwanda. Before heading to Mexico, the team will play a practice match with the U17 Tottenham Hotspur squad in London. Some of the players dream of scoring a contract with a Premiership team.

The film crew will head to London too, but are still trying to nail the funding for the Mexican end of the trip. A friend at the BBC in London is bankrolling the documentary out of his own pocket at the moment, but his money can only go so far. It would be a shame if the film makers don’t manage to follow the story from beginning to end. If you or your organisation can help, let me know.

Photographs taken from my personal Flickr account.

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