Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has donated a K14 million Ford Ranger twin cab with a trailer, procured with proceeds from the 2019 Ecobank Charity Shield, to the Association of People with Albinism in Malawi (APAM).
According to the FA, the shield contributed K9 million while the two participating teams Nyasa Big Bullets and Be Forward Wanderers forfeited their K1 million allocations for their own charitable events towards the purchase of the vehicle.
APAM recommended the purchase of the vehicle which will be used for rapid response in the fight against the barbaric killings, abductions and discrimination against people with albinism in Malawi.
Speaking during the official handover of the car at the Mpira Village in Blantyre, FAM President Walter Nyamilandu said the donation is proof that football remains a great tool for solving social and economic challenges in the country.
“It feels good that we are capable of achieving bigger things with football and this donation proves that apart from providing wholesome entertainment, it can help to solve social ills.
“Previously, football was underutilised and most people saw football fans as mere noise makers but we have proved that we can do great things for the good of the country in addressing social and economic challenges that people face.
“Let me also thank Ecobank for choosing to join us on this venture and I have no doubt that having seen the impact of your donation this year, you will come back next year”, said Nyamilandu.
He also thanked the participating teams for their support and presented them with Certificates of recognition.
“The teams forfeited their share of gate collections for this cause and we don’t take that for granted. We appreciate your cooperation,” he said.
Ecobank became the first ever sponsor of the Charity Shield and their Head of Commercial and Consumer Banking at Ecobank Victoria Chanza hailed all the stakeholders for making the project a success in reaching out to the less privileged.
“As a bank, we always want to assist the less privileged and the Charity Shield was one of the initiative so we would like to thank all that participated in the games for their goodwill.
“We would like to tell the football fraternity that this is not the end as we plan to continue using the game in paying back to our customers so other organisations can also take as an example as we continue making Malawi a better place for all”, she said.
APAM National Coordinator Overstone Kondowe said they were grateful for the vehicle, which will ease their operational challenges especially on rescue missions of their members in hard to reach areas.
“This support shows that football is not only meant for leisure or fun but also for the promotion of rights for the marginalized,” Kondowe said.
Under the theme ‘One Love, stop the killings’ this year’s shield took place at the Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre on March 30 and 31 and teams that participated were eventual winners Bullets as well as Wanderers, Blue Eagles and Masters Security FC.
The Charity Shield, which is the Malawi’s Football season opener, is FAM’s flagship Corporate Social Responsibility Programme which started in 2016.