It is the moment of American basketball star LeBron James who recently opened a public school in his hometown Akron, Ohio, which will start with 240 at-risk children (third and fourth graders) with plans to expand to over 1,000 students.
Children who graduate from the I Promise School and meet specific standards will qualify for a full scholarship to the University of Akron, through the LeBron James Family Foundation.
While the world celebrates LeBron James, there are others like him who are also investing in children and education in the African continent which has a 35.7% illiteracy rate among all adults.
Take a look at these generous sportsmen who are saving thousands of people on a low-key.
Orlando Magic’s Bismack Biyombo Sumba has made a great impact in his home country, the Democratic Republic of Congo. Besides regularly donating large sums of money and spending time to help children, he has also opened a new school in Goma which looks incredible.
The Kivu International School is providing world-class education to the students in the central African country. The Orlando Magic center has also created scholarships for children to study in the United States. He has also built a lot of basketball courts.
“It means the world to me. When I started this program back home, I never thought it would grow massively to the point where I would get to the point to build a school for these kids. But also, at the end of the day, it’s just about transforming the next generation and making sure that these kids are well-educated,” he said at a press conference last year.
Masai Ujiri is the president of the Toronto Raptors and the first African National Basketball Association (NBA) executive. He was born in northern Nigeria city of Zaria and grew up playing soccer until he grew an interest in basketball at the age of 13.
After some years of playing basketball in Nigeria inspired by the first African player in the NBA Hakeem Olajuwon, Ujiri emigrated to the U.S. where his breakthrough began.
Masai Ujiri has maintained his ties with Africa as the director of the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders Africa program, which promotes the game in the continent. He also sponsors two basketball camps in Nigeria through his charity, Giants of Africa (GOA), which nurtures top players and coaches. The programme is in other countries including Ghana, Kenya, and Rwanda.
The Republic of Congo-born and Toronto Raptors player goes home every year and gives back through his Serge Ibaka Foundation. The Foundation has helped improve the lives of children in health, education, and nutrition among other areas.
He has partnered with several organisations to realize his dream of helping children. The Foundation partnered with the Starkey Hearing Foundation to tackle the deafness epidemic in the Congo, allowing children to hear for the first time in their lives.
He also partnered with UNICEF to help provide mentorship and improve the education and living conditions of street children who don’t have any parents or family in the Congo.
His initiative won him a position on the National Basketball Players’ Association (NBPA) Board of Directors in 2017 to serve as a positive example for others in the league.
The Cameronian professional footballer, Samuel Eto’o, built a pediatric centre to reduce infant mortality rate in Douala, Cameroon last year. He also announced plans to build a school in the country’s northern region with support from donors. His foundation has also provided 100 scholarships to an all-girls school in Sierra Leone.
Eto’o has also invested in football with the construction of a world-class complex in Libreville, Gabon which serves as an academy.
Former Ivorian football star, Didier Drogba through his foundation, has recently established a school in the Ivory Coast targeted at enabling children in the village of Onahio Pokou-Kouamekro to have access to quality education.
The school is partly funded by Nestlé and the International Cocoa Initiative. The facility includes classrooms, a kindergarten, a canteen, latrines, a football field and accommodation facilities for teachers. It replaces an existing school in Pokou-Kouamekro which was made of mud and lacked the necessary infrastructure.
Drogba has in the past announced plans to build a hospital in his hometown.
Didier Drogba plays for American Club Phoenix Rising. He is the all-time top scorer and former captain of the Ivorian national team.
This article written by Ismail Akwei was first published on face2faceafrica.com