The Johannesburg Celtic Supporters Club have been hosting hoops fans from throughout the world keen to enjoy a huddle while supporting differing countries at the World Cup.
From almost every competing country, and a few that are there just for the banter, Celtic supporters have been enjoying the World Cup and also putting something back into the local economy.
Away from the cringe worthy patronising coverage of the state funded BBC the Jo’burg CSC have been doing their bit for the less fortunate locals and providing practical help and support.
Bill McIntosh of the Jo’burg CSC has been working tirelessly for the chosen charity of Bhoys for Africa which gathers up Celtic strips to distribute amongst the poorer townships throughout Africa.
A match was arranged between the visiting New Zealand CSC and a Soweto Celtic XI, which was diplomatically drawn 1-1, with hoops prominent throughout.
The Johannesburg CSC, has initiated a campaign to help out disadvantaged youth throughout the African continent.
Over the last year we have been asking fellow CSC’s to send us old Celtic and football kit to be distributed to poor communities in Africa .
So far the response, in particular from our friends in North America, has been outstanding,
Our campaign is on two fronts.
The first is to help out the ‘township youth’ of South Africa.
We, the ‘Jo’burg Tims’, have formed a friendship with Bloemfontein Celtic, a S.A. Premier League outfit who also wear the hoops.
We have visited Bloemfontein Celtic and donated Celtic strips and football equipment for distribution, through their community development schemes, to the local kids and youth teams.
These kids are from some of the poorest communities in South African society and the gift of soccer kit and equipment makes a real difference – especially in a country where football is the main sport, played just about everywhere.
We are planning another trip down to Bloemfontein at the beginning of this years PSL season, and hope to attend Bloemfontein Celtic’s first home game and make a presentation of donated kit to the club.
The second part of the campaign is to help out children elsewhere in Africa.
Bill spends a great deal of time on business in West Africa, and has been using these regular trips to distribute Celtic strips and soccer kit in countries such as Burundi, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. As you may be aware, these African countries are just beginning to recover from a decade of civil war and genocide.
They are among some of the poorest people on the planet, living in countries where whole communities have been scarred by the horrors of war.
Bill has forged links with local community and church groups up there and has been sending kit their way for years
To children and youth, emerging from a decade-long nightmare,kids who have never heard of Bart Simpson,McDonalds etc, these small donations make a real difference, and allow communities to start up local village teams, soccer leagues and so on. Every little bit does help.
We feel that this campaign has two positives – as per our Social Charter we are doing our bit by helping out poor communities, whilst contributing to the development of community-based sports programmes.
Secondly, we are helping to promote the Celtic name throughout the African continent
For us to achieve these goals, we need the help of Celtic fans worldwide.
From past experience, we have discovered that once Celtic Supporters clubs get together and start collecting Celtic strips and football equipment, great things can be achieved.
They ask their members to look through their cupboards and dig out old Celtic jerseys or shorts, old boots, balls, shinpads, training kit, etc.
Once collected, they had filled dozens of boxes of assorted kit to send us and,
sent surface mail, the postage costs were very low.
If any of the global Celtic family, whether CSC’s or individual fans, could help in collecting and posting us kit then we really could make a difference.
We will ensure that all donations are acknowledged on our website and we will also post all press coverage and community feedback online.
We will also liaise with Celtic Park, The Celtic View, etc, and will hopefully get them to publicize the good work of those donating kit for the campaign.
If you can help, please send to any kit and equipment to Bill McIntosh at the following address:
269 Lewisham Rd, Northcliff, 2195 Johannesburg , South Africa
(And please mark for attention of William McIntosh, not Bill, as he has to show his passport at the post office when collecting the stuff.)
Follow Video Celts on Twitter