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Sports News
Marcel Desailly confirmed Lifetime Goodwill Ambassador for OrphanAid Africa 6/5/2011

France World Cup winner and ex-captain of Le Bleus, Marcel Desailly has been officially confirmed as the Lifetime Goodwill Ambassador for OrphanAid Africa.

This is in recognition for his outstanding and enviable role and contribution towards OrphanAid’s goal of uniting abandoned children with their families and providing hope for these children where there is none.

The title was conferred on him by the founder of OrphanAid Africa, Lisa Lovatt-Smith at a short ceremony in Accra on Thursday.

Lisa poured adulation on Desailly for supporting a worthy cause and for putting smiles on the faces of innocent children who otherwise would have been a burden and a threat to society.

According to her, Desailly has played this role, albeit in an unofficial capacity, for the past six years and the time has come to cement the relationship he has built with the OrphanAid.

Lisa cited personal donations as well as two major charity matches in 2005 and 2006 held in Accra and Sekondi respectively to raise funds for Orphanaid Africa.

“Desailly, in his capacity as a Laureus Academy Member also supported OrphanAid Africa’s bid to set up a Laureus Sports for Good project in the impoverished community of Ayenyiah, (Damgme West) which has been running very successfully for three years,” she added.

Natural love
Marcel Desailly who had to cut short his trip in Europe in time for this coronation could not hide his admiration for the young children some of whom were present at the ceremony.

He said it is “only natural to commit himself to the kids” who see him as a role model.

According to Desailly his fairy tale relationship with OrphanAid Africa started some six years ago when Lisa Lovatt-Smith persuaded him to go and see the children, “and when I did, I knew immediately I wanted to get involved.”

“I loved the idea and the concept,” he said, adding, everybody must do something for these kids.

“…I decided to raise money for food and medicine for the children, but I also felt the need for a sport element, as I saw great potential in the children,” he added.

He said “it was important to use sports to develop the skills of the kids” as well as impart discipline and the need for them to acquire education.

Marcel Desailly who himself is a beneficiary of foster parenting pledged his continued support and contribution for OrphanAid.

its charity; not an orphanage

Far from assembling destitute children under one roof with care givers sometimes maltreating these children, OrphanAid Africa unites vulnerable children to grow up in safe and permanent family settings.

Set up in 2002, What OrphanAid does is to provide monthly allowance for the upkeep and education of these children who have been re-united with their families.

Lisa Lovatt-Smith told a cross section of the media personnel present during the official confirmation that professional care givers are assigned to each family who visit the children daily, weekly or even monthly depending on the vulnerability of the child in question.

She was convinced there could be no better and monitoring system to check the progress of destitute children than the option being pursued by OrphanAid Africa.

Per a brochure, OrphanAid spends GHS53.00 [excluding GHS30.00 to procure a child’s birth certificate] to cater for a single child per month.

And with over a thousand of these children who live with their families but who depend on the OrphanAid for survival one can only imagine the total cost in caring for the children if only for a month.

Lisa Lovatt-Smith therefore appealed to the General Public for their support to help these children who have no business to be on the streets.

To this end, she entreated the public to text the word “love” to MTN short code 1961 to donate 1 cedi to the cause.

Story by Nathan Gadugah/Myjoyonline.com/Ghana

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