The visit by the president of Barcelona Football Club and Foundation, Joan Laporta, to Kiziba Refugee Camp in the Western Province, home to about 20,000 Congolese refugees, shows that football is more than just a game.
Barcelona Football Club is known worldwide for its exquisite kind of play. On the pitch, the players dress in UNICEF branded jerseys, and off the pitch, they score high through their humanitarian programs, as recently demonstrated in Kiziba refugee camp.
In Rwanda, football has the reputation of being a sport that has contributed to Unity and Reconciliation. At the national and local levels, tournaments are organised to bring people together to enjoy the beautiful game.
It is now time for local clubs and sports personalities to go to the next step and get involved in community initiatives.
These may include health campaigns, supporting orphanages or just being role models for the youth who look up to them.
While the local clubs may not have the money to donate to the vulnerable, like the rich European clubs, our sports organisations can adapt fundraising initiatives including charity games, regardless of the amounts collected. It is the gesture that matters.
Artistes and Rwanda’s beauty contest winners are already involved in charity programs. Sports stars too, should do their part. After all, they would also benefit through image building or promotion of the individual or club brands.