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Foundation seeks to give new lease of life to youths in IDP camps through football

By Guardian Nigeria
29 October 2022   |   5:29 am
Youth scattered across some of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps in North West Nigeria will soon have a reason to smile. This follows the planned move by the Ozoya Football Foundation, OFF, to reach out to youngsters in IDP camps through a popular sport like football. Monday Ozoya who heads the Foundation and is…

[FILES] A camp for IDPs in Uhogua, Edo State. Ozoya Football Foundation hopes to give a new lease of life to some of the kids in camps such as this.

Youth scattered across some of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps in North West Nigeria will soon have a reason to smile.

This follows the planned move by the Ozoya Football Foundation, OFF, to reach out to youngsters in IDP camps through a popular sport like football.

Monday Ozoya who heads the Foundation and is also the Chairman of Manchester Bulls Football Club said plans are in the works to take the round leather game to the IDP camps.

Monday Ozoya is the founder of OFF and Chairman of Manchester Bulls FC.

“Ozoya Football Foundation is moving away from the normal development aspect which we are known for, to the humanitarian aspect. We’re looking at how to get talent from some of the IDP camps in Nigeria, to represent Nigeria in about 10 years’ time at the Olympics or Commonwealth Games, because we know that there are a lot of talents.

“We’re looking at young players at the IDP camps to play in the Premiership. That’s the kind of vision I’m having and what we want to work on for our humanitarian journey.”

Ozoya, who is currently the Divisional Secretary of the U-12 Suffolk League and District League in the UK, said he would be working with his English partners, Nigerians in the diaspora and other well-meaning individuals as well as corporate bodies to actualise the laudable vision.

“For now, we will be looking more into the North West. Yes, we can provide food, shelter and accommodation and other essentials, but we need to give them hope, and I don’t think we’re doing much for them in that aspect.

“We can’t have kids, a generation that has no good education, skill or sporting opportunities, so I think we need to do more to support the IDP camps, that’s why we at the Ozoya Football Foundation are looking at the humanitarian aspect, while we also continue with the developmental aspect which we started in 2013.”

According to Ozoya, this new IDP initiative is targeted for launch before the end of the year.

“For the IDP project, we’re still working on the strategic planning and the budget, but we’re hoping to launch the new project in the UK before the end of the year. Nigerians in the diaspora will be invited as well but hopefully, before the end of the year, we will be launching the project. We will get to the media and let people know that something is coming and there is hope for the IDPs. At least let’s remove all the barriers the IDPs are facing through football,” he said.