Story, Louvier Kindo Tombe
The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) is aware that children can fully develop their human skills through sporting activities in general and football in particular. That explains why, the UN body decided to partner with Cameroon’s lead professional football team to champion the rights of the child in the country.
“Passion and love for football can address the challenges faced by children,” says Nadine Perrault, Resident Representative of UNICEF Cameroon.
She was speaking in Yoaunde on Monday January 30, 2023 as she paraphrased the agreement with the president of Coton Sport of Garoua.
“Through this partnership, we are convinced that children in Cameroon would be given the opportunity to express themselves in a conducive environment,” Fernand Sadou, president of Coton Sport said.
The key objective of the partnership is to provide a means of coordination and education of children in Cameroon within the framework of the respect of their rights. The agreement will help promote the link between sports and studies. Special attention would be given to vulnerable children in the northern regions of the country.
The president of Coton Sport addressing the media revealed that “our joy is to accompany children, but it is an honour for us to accompany vulnerable children.”
Through this partnership, children will have the opportunity to master their rights as humans, but most especially receive proper management and control. They will have the opportunity to attend regular schools and still practice their favourite activity. UNICEF expects the Garoua team to promote assistance on these aspects.
“Coton Sport of Garoua shall provide it’s facilities for UNICEF to communicate to the children,” Fernand Sadou told News Upfront.
“Our training center and other sports infrastructure including all equipments and gadgets would constitute part of the package we are providing in the partnership, and we shall help coordinate at our level.”
The logo of UNICEF will henceforth feature on all the gadgets of the football club.
Both scribes agreed that it is going to be a fruitful mutual exchange.
“We would support with logistics, materials, and organization in all events and activities that Coton Sport is involved,” Nadine Perrault said.
According to Nadine Perrault, Resident Representative of UNICEF in Cameroon, play and recreation are part of the basic rights of children.
The convention on the rights of the child stipulates that “every child has the right to rest, relax, play and to take part in cultural and creative activities.”
Every child who cannot be looked after by their own family has the right to be looked after properly by people who respect the child’s religion, culture, language and other aspects of their life. That is also the idea behind the present agreement.
Why Coton Sports of Garoua
The choice for Coton Sport of Garoua was not taken by chance. Created in 1986, the team has a record win of 17 championship titles in Cameroon, 7 Elite one cup titles, finalist in CAF’s competitions.
“Coton Sport of Garoua is not only professional but has a broad fans club base,” declared Nadine Perrault.
“We are one of the few Cameroon teams with a youth football policy where we presently have over 150 young footballers in our training center,” says Fernand Sadou.
During the signing of the partnership agreement, the new sports wears (jerseys) of Coton Sport of Garoua were presented to the public, already having the logo of UNICEF.
It is an indication that the partnership is already been consumed.
It is not the first time UNICEF and Coton Sport are partnering, and their last agreement was a win win partnership according to Nadine Perrault.
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