The United States Government recently supported a football tournament in favour of children and youths of the New Kuchingoro Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) Camp, Abuja.
The support by the Embassy of the United States of America, Abuja, is in furtherance of the support it is already extending to the Kuchingoro IDPs, alongside the German Embassy, the South African High Commission, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the United Nations since the inception of the IDP camp over four years ago.
The football competition, which had six competing teams saw Tevo FC emerging the overall winners, with Unique Stars and Champion FC finishing first and second runners-up respectively. Other teams such as Love World FC, Rapsody FC, and Kings FC also participated in the tournament.
Vice Chairman, New Kuchingoro IDP Camp, Usman Adamu, disclosed that the population of the camp stands at a total of 2,224 persons and has been in existence for almost five years having been established in November 2014. He revealed that inhabitants of the IDP camp are made up of indigenes of Borno State, with majority from Gwoza Local Government Area.
The donors, he stated, were individuals and international donors such as the Embassy of the United States of America, the South African High Commission, the Embassy of Germany, NEMA, and the United Nations.
Adamu, a coach, said the football competition was one of the best innovations to support the inhabitants of the New Kuchingoro IDP camp and to make the people happy. He said even the parents of the footballers the participants and their friends were excited as a result of the football tournament.
He explained that he is the brain behind the football tournament, adding that a total number of 60 players comprising 40 boys and 20 girls were involved in the football tournament, even as he disclosed that the camp has a total number of 422 children:
“This football competition is one of the best to support us in the camp in order to make the people happy. Even the parents, the children, their friends, are happy with us. I initiated it and I am part of it.”
He, however, regretted the inability of ex-Nigerian international, Kanu Nwankwo, to attend the football outing, expressing hope that Nwankwo will grace the next football tournament to be hosted at the same IDPs camp.
Adamu, who also a barber, expressed appreciation to Nigerians, particularly individuals, organisations, churches, mosques and groups that support the IDPs camp on daily basis.
Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of the United States, Abuja, Kathleen FitzGibbon, said the support of the United States to the IDPs camp stemmed from the United States’ likeness for sports:
“We actually like sports and our embassy truly loves sports. But overall, we see that sports is a unifying activity that teaches people discipline, leadership skills that can take them throughout their lives and as one way to reach down to the youth and get everybody involved.”
FitzGibbon said the numerous aids the United States provided to the IDPs in terms of humanitarian assistance, stating that the football programme actually brings home, what one sees in kids outside.
One of the captains of the football teams, John Dawa, described the tournament as an exciting experience, expressing hope that he will build a career in football: “The football match is good. This soccer is good for me because it is going to build my career.”