By Dianne Cronmiller
As you may know, JBST is committed to spreading the passion for soccer worldwide, specifically through supporting the sport in Uganda. On July 24, 2013, JBST was able to send off a second suitcase of soccer equipment such as jerseys, shorts, gloves, first aid kits, and used cleats to the boys and girls of this country in need. It was not without the help of friends that JBST was able to send such package. One of these friends was Ferruccio Susin.
Italian-born Ferruccio has been the owner of the successful soccer shop – North America Sports since its opening thirty-seven years ago. From his supplies he graciously donated sets of soccer jerseys, used cleats, socks and other items for JBST’s Uganda project. It didn’t take any convincing, in fact Ferruccio jumped at the chance to help, as the country and its people are especially dear to him.
In 1972 Ferruccio was working as a flight attendant for Pacific Western Atlantic where he assisted with the transport of African-East Indians displaced to Canada from Uganda. At that time, Uganda was in a state of mayhem. President Idi Amin Dada was expelling all the African-Ugandan East Indians out of the country and the airport was in a state of chaos.
One day during this period Pacific Western Atlantic, along with many other flights, was not able to leave Uganda, so the crew, including Ferrucci, waited at Victoria Lake hotel.
The unexpected stay ended up being an enjoyable one for Ferruccio as he found the Ugandan people to be incredibly friendly and hospitable. He also used this time to buy many beautiful Ugandan artifacts. However the stay was not entirely upbeat. Ferruccio witnessed the extreme conditions and poverty in which some Ugandans lived. He was moved to give the little clothing he had in his suitcase to those around him. Unable to continue on their route to Canada, Ferruccio’s flight flew to Las Palmas, Canary Islands in Spain. It must have been destiny for Ferruccio, as this is where he ended up meeting the woman he would eventually call his wife! And for that, he has never forgotten his time in Uganda.
When Ferruccio heard that JBST was going to be donating equipment to Uganda he was reminded of his touching experience with the Ugandan people and jumped at the chance to contribute.
We are very thankful for Mr. Ferruccio’s generous sponsorship and continued friendship with JBST. It is also important to mention that Dr. Paula Iriarte and Ms. Nicola Brainford also gave JBST used soccer cleats and other soccer equipment. JBST and the children from Uganda are very thankful for your dedication. You have made a difference in their life. It takes right and dedicated people to build a village!