Schools reopen to news of post-ebola football windfall


As learning institutions reopen in Sierra Leone this Tuesday, after a lockdown of nearly a year, the Sama Foundation, a charity set up by one of the country’s all-time leading match officials, has disclosed plans to supply football kits to some of the schools.

The distribution of the kits, which are still in the United States, will only take place after the country is declared ebola free and whenever it is safe to do so.

Sierra Leone is the second most affected country with the ebola virus. An estimated amount of 10,000 people were infected since the outbreak last year.

Bundu Hayes, the Foundation’s Chief Executive, has earmarked eight schools nationwide for the kit distribution. The schools will be kitted out in their institution’s colours and crest on the jerseys.

This is not the first donation the Sama Foundation will be making to schools in Sierra Leone. Eight years ago, the Foundation donated its first set of jerseys to The Collegiate School where Mr Hayes himself attended.

The most recent batch of donations took place in 13 secondary schools countrywide in 2013.

Based in the United States, Hayes’ vision through the Foundation, is to support Sierra Leonean children to receive quality education but also to support them pursue their sporting dreams in style.

“The aim of the Foundation is to give back to the country,” Hayes explains. “Development of a nation begins at the grassroots level.

“The names of the schools which will benefit from the donation will be disclosed after schools reopen,” Hayes said.

A large portion of the donation to Sama Foundation was offered by the Texas-based Klein Soccer Club. This is an organization which was founded in 1979 to provide sport facilities for the Northwest area of Houston, Texas. Klein organizes recreational facilities for kids from under-6 to under-12 levels.

Hayes says he is overwhelmed after receiving the donations and he could not thank the donors enough.

“I want to express my appreciation and thanks to the Board of Directors of Klein Soccer, including Bill Bryan, Tom Davenport, Ralph Grego, the soccer clubs, the parents and the University of Texas Female Soccer team for their numerous contributions.”

Bundu Hayes has been living in the United States since 1999 after leaving the country during the civil war which claimed the lives of about 100,000 Sierra Leoneans.


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