Ecobank has taken over sponsorship of the annual FAM Charity Shield at K12 million and this year’s proceeds from the tournament to be played at Kamuzu Stadium on March 30 and 31 will be channeled towards the fight against crimes being targeted at people with albinism (PWAs).
This was disclosed on Tuesday at FAM’s Mpira Village at Chiwembe where the new sponsor was unveiled and that the theme for the two-day tournament is ‘One Love —Stop The Killings’.
“The Charity Shield is FAM’s flagship corporate social responsibility program,” FAM president Walter Nyamilandu Manda said. “It aims to engage, mobilize and inspire football fans, stakeholders and the public towards a charitable cause of national significance.
“It is our heart’s strong desire that apart from providing direct employment (coaches, players and many others); inducing economic activities as people travel, seek accommodation and food in between football matches; providing wholesome entertainment to the nation and uniting the countries citizens and enhance national cohesion, football remains a great tool as a means to solving some of the social economic challenges that our county faces.
“This year our focus is to allow football play an advocacy role against the barbaric killings, abductions and discriminations against people with albinism in Malawi under the theme ‘One Love – Stop the Killings!’
“Our message is we are all one, let us love one another. When we genuinely love one another there is no reason to kill each other. There is absolutely no reason to kill our fellow citizens who were born with albinism.
“After all they did not choose to be born that way. And it can happen to anyone,” Nyamilandu said.
Also present was secretary for Association for People with Albinism (Apam), Ian Simbota, who applauded FAM and Ecobank for considering people with albinism as this year’s beneficiaries of the Charity Shield.
“We were at a crossroads, we didn’t know which road to take but with this awareness campaign you are lhelping us to feel secured.
“The spotlight that Malawians have given to this scourge is very much appreciated and we don’t take it for granted. We can move around doing our business knowing they are some fellow citizens of goodwill for all Malawians,” he said.
In his remarks, Ecobank Managing Director Charles Asiedu said they were proud to be in the forefront in the advocacy against the atrocities targeted at people with albinism.
“We are all equal and no one should treat a fellow human being like the way it is being done,” he said. “Football unites people and we are glad that FAM chose this theme — to unite us all against the crimes against people with albinism.
“Our relationship will go beyond the football pitch after this event. We want to show Malawians that we are a reliable brand.
“We shall create good packages for teams when they shall have the need to travel and also for the fans who shall wish to do business with us,” he said.
The FAM Charity Shield was initiated in 2016 and the first beneficiary was Kamuzu Central Hospital in 2017 where the association donated 15 patient trollies and also mobilized football fans to donate blood in order to ease the shortage of blood in some hospitals.
In 2018, the association donated braille embosser and various items to Ekwendeni School for the visually impaired in Mzimba as well as various medical and physiotherapy equipment to Kachere Rehabilitation Centre in Blantyre.
Nyamilandu gave Ecobank exclusive rights to this year’s Charity Shield, which involves Blue Eagles, Masters Security, Mighty Be Forward Wanderers and Nyasa Big Bullets.
“We are opening our doors wipe open to you. We know Ecobank is a big brand in West Africa and it is very active in football in South Africa through its connections with Ned Bank.
“Our message is that you have knocked on our doors, we keep the space wide open for you. Should you want to explore more football space in our football you are most welcome,” he said.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :