Transforming lives through football
In November 2015 former Chelsea goalkeeper and Club Ambassador Carlo Cudicini visited a Plan International project in Ghana, celebrating our partnership with Chelsea Football Club. Here, the fans’ favourite shares his reflections on how football can be a force for change.
At the end of November I visited Ghana with the Chelsea Foundation to mark the start of a global partnership between the club and Plan International.
It’s amazing what Plan International are doing out there and such a good project. The intention is to help provide teenage girls with an education through football, which will hopefully enable them to have more chance of getting a job in the future.
Projects like this one – there are 20 similar schemes across Ghana – really show the power of our sport. As well as learning new skills, girls are building their confidence and realising, as one of them told us, that “whatever boys can do, girls can do too!”
It’s hard work for the girls because they do football training, work on the farm for their families and also receive an education, so it’s a full day for them.
But it’s a great project and when we were there we watched a game between the girls and some local boys. It was really entertaining and the girls were very committed. They managed to win 2-1 and showed fantastic team spirit.
It was good to be able to speak to Jessica Ridgewell, who works for Plan International UK, and she explained everything about their projects around the world. It was very interesting to hear about what they do and how they do it and I know everyone at Chelsea is really proud to be supporting this innovative work. As well as the football project, Plan International has built water pumps, provided school supplies and is currently refurbishing a school in this part of Ghana.
We received a fantastic reception from the local people who were very warm. It was my first trip to Ghana and football is very popular over there. Most of the people support Chelsea because of Michael Essien and it was a pleasure to meet them and see their enthusiasm for the game and the Premier League as a whole.
The partnership between Plan International and Chelsea is really only just getting started, and I left Ghana feeling excited about what we can achieve together, helping to transform the lives of thousands of children around the world.
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