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NGO organises football competition for IDPs

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IDP camp. PHOTO: VOA

IDP camp. PHOTO: VOA

The Spring Africa and Carrington Youth Fellowship Alumni Network (CYFAN), an NGO, says it is organising a football competition for children drawn from various Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps in the FCT, Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event is being sponsored by the NGO, the Nigeria Football

Federation (NFF) and Paulash Community Development Initiative (PCDI).

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The maiden match, which took place on Monday evening at the FIFA Goal Project football pitch package B of the National Stadium Abuja, was part of a talent development programme to commemorate United Nations International Youth Day.

The programme, tagged `Inter-IDP camps football competition,’ aims to develop the innate football talent of kids who are displaced as a result of the Boko Haram insurgency in the North East.

Ms Oluwatimilehin Onafeso, the Founder of Spring Africa, explained that the essence of the competition was to give the children an opportunity to showcase their talents.

She said rather than pitying the children, Nigerians could extend their hands of fellowship to them, either in cash or kind to lift them out of their present predicament.

“It is high time we saw the talents in these children and stop looking at their problems.

“Rather than always looking at what they lack, we can make them have a sense of belonging by organising events like this to bring out the best in these lovely children.

“I can tell you that the children are exceptional, and if you get closer to them, you will be amazed at what they can do.

“This football competition is just the start of so many things we intend to do for them,’’ Onafeso said.

Dr Garba Abari, the Director-General of National Orientation Agency (NOA), represented by the Director Special
Duties and State Operations in the agency, Mrs Mette Edekobi, said that NOA was concerned about the plight of the children.

“We will go the extra mile to ensure that the welfare of the IDP children is attended to at any given time.

“NOA, therefore, shall continue to support and partner with well meaning Nigerians, philanthropists as well as private organisations who show concern in this regard,’’ she said.

On her part, the PCDI Executive Director, Mrs Folashade Okomayin, told NAN that the event was organised to encourage the children and put smiles on their faces.

NAN reports that Team New Kuchingoro defeated its Area 1 counterpart 3-2 to go home with the giant gold cup donated by the organisers.


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