You will recall that back in December 2015, Fleet director Stuart Butler-Gallie delivered 20 Mitsubishi Electric/EUFC footballs to Gravesend charity Extending Grace International, based on Manor Road, Gravesend. Extending Grace Int’l is a not-for-profit, UK-registered charity that aims to make a significant and demonstrable difference to the lives of children and young people both here in the UK and Africa in order to end the poverty cycle.
The Mitsubishi Electric/EUFC footballs have now arrived in Nigeria and as you can see from the video clip above they have been a great success.
Janet Olanrewaju, a Trustee of Extending Grace Int’l told us the background to the Charity’s work. “We gave the wonderful donation of the Mitsubishi Electric/EUFC footballs to the seven schools attended by children supported by Extending Grace Int’l. The video shows children from the State Primary School 2 in Bode, Ibadan Oyo State, Nigeria. In Nigeria, parents pay for everything including school fees. The Nigerian Government only provides the shell building and the teachers.
“Some schools do not have enough teachers and it’s the PTA that will employ teachers themselves if they can afford it; if not, tough luck. Any child whose parents cannot afford all these payments, books, etc, will not be educated. That’s just the fact in Nigeria, which is where Extending Grace Int’l comes in. The children we support are orphans who live either with their elderly grandparents or relatives who themselves are very poor. They are wonderful children just crying out for a chance and we intervene by supporting them so that they can at least receive an education and strive for a better life”.
Fleet footballs were also provided to the Estate Community Football Club, Jakande Estate, Oke Afa, Isolo, Lagos, Nigeria. The club comprises of nine different teams of differing age groups and members are young people rescued from street life. Janet added, “Football is a worldwide passion and many of the young boys dream of escaping poverty by being noticed on the football pitch. We are so grateful to Ebbsfleet United and Mitsubishi Electric for this generous donation that has given so much joy”.
Fleet Community director Stuart Butler-Gallie said: “This is such a simple but effective way in which football can touch so many people’s lives and make a real difference. I will be working with Janet and her team to build on the success of this initiative and to assist Extending Grace Int’l in helping these children fulfil their potential, however difficult their circumstances”.
Steve Fleming, General Manager for Europe at Mitsubishi Electric, said: “We are delighted to have helped contribute towards this simple act of kindness that has made a real difference to young peoples’ lives in Nigeria. This is just the sort of initiative that Mitsubishi Electric working with the team at EUFC wants to encourage in our support of the communities that football can touch locally and worldwide.”