Gaiscí GPA i Kenya

January 11 2023 | Posted in: Sport

50 Inter-County Players in a bid to plant 1 million trees in Kenya & learn new cultures

A unique sports and cultural documentary will on air on TG4 this Sunday 15th January. From the 19-27th November a host of Gaelic Games stars from all corners of Ireland travelled to Kenya as part of a week-long tour to the East African country raising funds to plant one million trees. Alan Kerins founding idea of Plant the Planet Games came to fruition as he partnered with the GPA and Self Help Africa to make the trip happen. The aim was to highlight the impact of climate change and raise sufficient funds to plant one million trees in Africa The funds raised are used for the planting of trees, essential not only to combating the increasing impact of climate change but also as a way of providing sustainable income for local communities.

The documentary gives a total behind the scenes view as the 50 GAA Players embark on a week-long trip around the Kenyan country. The players, representatives of all four codes: Football x 2, Hurling and Camogie took to the field for a challenge match at Nairobi Rugby Club, the first time an Inter-County game was ever played in Kenya, and the first of its kind across all four codes. In addition to the games, the players took part in a series of cultural events to highlight the work being done by charities such as Self Help Africa and Brighter Communities Worldwide in the country. Throughout the program, We get an insight into the players journey as they learn new cultures, by visiting schools, both primary & secondary whilst interacting with the local children through song and dance. The documentary highlights how music and sport brings cultures together and this is evident through all the different interactions the players had during the week, between school visits, and the once in a lifetime opportunity to run with the Kenyan athletes. With the help of the GPA, Self Help Africa & Warriors for Humanity the trip was made possible and it kickstarted the mission to plant a million trees.

Director/Producer - Sarah McCoy

Editors - Cian O’Halloran & Ray Kirby

Ahead of the documentary airing CEO of the GPA, Tom Parsons said: “The trip to Kenya was real eye opener for all the players involved and gives us a greater appreciation for all we have at home in Ireland. The welcome we received was truly inspirational and to see how the fundraising the players took part in is having a practical impact on the lives of people on the farms and in the villages, we visited struck a chord with us all. Kenya may be 7,000 miles away, but we can still play a part in helping people there, who are some of the worst affected by the impacts of climate change. This documentary shines a spotlight on how this really is a small world, and we can take steps to positively impact the lives of our fellow global citizens regardless of the distance between us. And for everything that the players gave to this project, I can also guarantee you they got as much and even more back in return from our hosts. Thank you to Alan Kerins and Self Help Africa and to Nemeton and TG4 for documenting the trip and bringing it to a wider audience.”

Founder of Warriors for Humanity / Plant the Planet Games, Alan Kerins said: “The dream to play the first-ever intercounty 4 code GAA match on African soil became a reality last November when 50 inspirational male and female players embarked on an incredible trip to Kenya. The mission of Warriors for Humanity is to inspire and facilitate people to leave a powerful legacy and make a real and meaningful impact on the planet and its communities. The players certainly did that by raising over half a million euros and hitting the target of planting 1 million trees in the near future which will have a huge impact on the environment and enable thousands of people in Africa secure sustainable livelihoods for decades to come. I would like to thank our wonderful partners, Self Help Africa, the GPA and Brighter Communities Worldwide for helping bring this dream to life in such a magnificent way. I would like to thank McKeever sports for being our sportswear partner for the trip and .I would also like to thank Sarah McCoy and all at Nemeton TV for brilliantly capturing this amazing experience and adventure and for highlighting the power of music and sport to unite and connect people on a human level.”

Director of Business Development for Self Help Africa, Martha Hourican said: “The visit to Kenya by more than 50 sports stars has enabled Self Help Africa kick-start a programme that will plant a million trees in Africa, in the name of Irish GAA. The participants on the trip did more than just pay a visit to Africa – they campaigned and cajoled, spoke to friends, family and business contacts – and they helped to raise an incredible half a million euro to fund this important work. The GPA, the Warriors for Humanity and Alan Kerins are making a very real difference in the fight against global warming in Africa. Their support is also helping vulnerable families on the frontline to combat the effects of climate change, and the impact it is having on their lives.”

The documentary is produced by NemetonTV, the independent production company from An Rinn in the Waterford Gaeltacht which has produced much of TG4’s acclaimed sports coverage. The new documentary “Gaiscí GPA i Kenya” will air on TG4 Sunday 15th January at 5:30pm.

Further information on Warriors For Humanity: Warriors for Humanity is a global citizen movement of people from all walks of life who are committed to celebrating a world with kindness, compassion, and love at its heart. Warriors for Humanity works to inspire positive change at all levels of society. We offer campaigning, volunteering, educational and fundraising opportunities while inspiring and connecting people and issues. This includes championing intergenerational awareness and action on areas that include poverty, peace and conflict, human rights, gender inequality, ecological destruction, and democratic engagement.

Further information on Self Help Africa: Self Help Africa is responding directly to the food crisis in East Africa with emergency aid. However, their commitment remains to address the root causes of hunger and extreme poverty - of which climate change is becoming an increasingly pressing one. Self Help Africa is a leading international development charity with an expertise in small-scale farming and growing family-farm businesses. We are motivated by injustice, by our expertise in small- scale agriculture and family-farm business, and the opportunity we have to help small farmers change the lives of their families. First and foremost, Self Help Africa is dedicated to ending hunger and poverty in rural Africa. Self Help Africa currently works in eight core African countries, tackling poverty and improving the lives of local communities. The organisation works both with its own African staff, and through local partners to undertake a range of integrated development programmes amongst rural communities.