Dortmund star giving hope to learners from needy families

Friday, January 22nd, 2021 00:00 |
Miche Bora Primary School in Kisauni sub-county in Mombasa county. A Mustard Seed project which Jude Bellingham is involved in. Photo/PD/Bonface Msangi

Barry Silah @obel_barry

It is said education is the path to success and that line holds true for some needy students in Mombasa, who have got relief after   a 17-year old English soccer player got involved in an important project.

Jude Bellingham of Borussia Dortmund, is not your everyday teenager. According to a report published in the Daily Mail, a leading UK publication, the midfielder through a foundation has built classrooms at a school in Mgongeni,  Mombasa county to cater for 275 students. 

The charity organisation reported that the learners at Miche Bora nursery and primary school, who were recently on a long holiday, got a feel of the new classrooms.

 Bellingham, who is a Birmingham native got involved with the Mustard Seed project in Mombasa; a charity that caters for the underprivileged children.

Transformed lives

He has also helped purchase royal blue Adidas football kits for youngsters in the Mombasa slums, while he hopes to finish off building a brand-new classroom for the local school. 

According to the Daily Mail, Rita and Geoff Fowler founded The Mustard Seed Project 11 years ago.

Bellingham is helping in raising funds to help the charity with its ongoing projects in Mombasa, said the reports.

As well as helping in schools, the charity and the midfielder; an England under 21 international has raised money to support the Mgongeni football team, paying travel and league fees. 

Bellingham, of course, went out to kit the community side in Birmingham City’s (his former club) royal blue and white colours. 

In a previous interview with League Football Education, Bellingham said: “I saw a picture and it gave me a great feeling seeing how happy they were and knowing how much it will help them going forward.

The more attention I get from doing good things on the pitch, hopefully that will crossover to the charity, so it’s definitely at the back of my mind as a driving factor for me to keep working hard so that the charity can benefit too.”

The school costs around Sh500,000 a month to run (approximately 3,500 pounds/Sh522,280.15) and the monies from donors including Virgin Money is working wonders for the project. 

According to Rita, the Dortmund youngster is God-send. 

“His father, Mark, works with my daughter and she was talking to him about the charity,” Rita, 73, told Daily Mail in March last year during an interview.

 “Mark mentioned it to Bellingham  and he showed no hesitation wanting to come on board. He is such a lovely guy.

He is so kind and caring and I cannot speak highly enough of him,” added Rita.

Back to Mombasa, the project in Kisauni constituency is attracting a lot of good vibe with the locals.

It has transformed lives in many ways and it is slowly but surely holding ground. A statement from the Mustard Seed Project said that it had finally been completed after seven years.

“The building is finished! The children are back to school. Seven years since the first phase was built!

A huge thank you to everyone who has made this dream a reality. Special thanks to Jude Bellingham for his support completing the final phase. #mombasaschool #judebellinghamfootballer,” said the statement posted on Instagram.

Bellingham who is a former Manchester United target is reportedly happy with the progress thus far.

Kisauni constituency where the project is housed suffers from very low school enrolment rates at 38.4 per cent for primary schools and 11.3 per cent for secondary schools.

Mustard Seed Project is a small UK charity providing quality education in their brand new school, healthcare and a feeding programme to 300 poor African children in Mombasa county. 

Due to effects of Covid-19 pandemic, funding became a problem for the founders but they hardly gave up. 

“The children are now all in this building. There are still a few things to do which are of course so much more difficult now that the children are back.

Covid-19 was a catastrophe of course but it did mean that the builders could get on with work in the school and final touches are taking much longer.

We are just so excited and disappointed that we cannot go out to Kenya to see it. Roll on the vaccinations,” the publication reported.

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