AN IMAGE of a young child wearing a Sky Blues shirt on national TV during the Ebola crisis has inspired the League One club to support a charity which helps promote and provide child education in Sierra Leone.
The young boy was spotted wearing the club’s famous sky blue colours on a special BBC report from the village of Kigbal before Christmas.
The report focussed on the effects of Ebola and the aftermath for youngsters in the area.
After it was aired staff from the club made contact with the reporter to find out more about the boy and the plight of his family and fellow villagers.
And since then the Sky Blues been put in touch with EducAid, a UK-based charity which helps to educate local children.
“It was a very moving report and to then see a boy in a Sky Blues shirt really brought it home and, as a club, we wanted to find out the best way we could help,” said Mark Hornby, head of marketing at Coventry City.
“We believe the boy’s shirt came from a ‘shirt amnesty’ the club organised a few years ago when supporters could bring in their old shirt to be given to a good cause.”
EducAid have since identified the young boy, who is called Dauda, who was filmed in the Sky Blues shirt. He lost his father to Ebola and now lives with his mother in Kigbal.
The organisation is helping more than 100 children who have lost one or both parents to Ebola in the area through its schools throughout the region.
The Sky Blues are now working with the charity to find the best way to support Dauda’s village and other children who have been rendered vulnerable by the crisis.
Hornby added: “We are considering holding another ‘shirt amnesty’ but we need to ensure that the logistics are in place to have them delivered to Sierra Leone.
“We are speaking to the charity and the reporter about that. There are children arriving in the charity’s schools with only the clothes they stand up in, as all their possessions get burned when there is Ebola in the house.
“In the meantime, we’ve purchased 12 books – Our World, Our Eyes, Our Imagination – which captures the story of people in Sierra Leone through a photography project. Two of those will go on display in the community area of our superstore and the other ten will be given to club partners.
“Supporters can also log onto the charity’s website and donate from there: http://www.educaid.org.uk/support-us/donate/.”
For £15 a month, EducAid can educate, medicate, house, feed and water a child for an entire year. For more information on EducAid log onto http://www.educaid.org.uk