NRL players Tim Mannah, Ryan Papenhuyzen and Christian Welch are the stars of JUST ONE: A STORY OF HOPE, a documentary filmed in Uganda in late 2019, now streaming on Kayo.
Parramatta Eels legend Mannah, and Melbourne Storm 2020 premiership winners Papenhuyzen and Welch documented a week-long trip visiting Compassion projects in Kampala, including meeting Tim Mannah’s sponsor child, Brianah.
Guided by Compassion leader and former sponsor child Lillian Mugisha, the athletes met Mannah’s ongoing sponsor child of four years, Brianah, and spent time with local community leader and former Compassion sponsor child, Richmond Wandera.
The documentary was conceived by Tim Mannah after launching The Mannah Foundation in 2013, in honour of his late brother Johnny, with a focus on supporting youth-related charities.
With funds raised at various events, including the NRL Johnny Mannah Cup, Tim was able to support a Compassion project in Uganda, creating a Skills Development Centre for children.
Doing this trip has made me realise the important things in life, and that I’m here on this earth for more than playing a game of footy,” Mannah said.
“Back home it’s easy to see pictures on a paper, or get letters, but to be here in Uganda and to meet Brianah in real life, is really special.”
The 2020 Clive Churchill Medallist, Papenhuyzen said it was a privilege to be part of the trip.
“I’ve never experienced anything like this before, and once we landed I realised this is an opportunity to open up my mind and learn what else is going on in the world and see what kids and families go through,” Papenhuyzen said.
Storm and Queensland Origin representative Christian Welch says taking part in the trip was something he’ll always treasure.
“This trip has been life changing for me as a person, and I’m so grateful for Tim for asking me to come along,” Welch said.
“To see the progress and such generational change first hand is such a special experience.”