Newcastle winger Christian Atsu said he would like to use the story of his own childhood to highlight the dangers of child labour and human trafficking faced by many young children in his country.
Atsu said the struggles he faced to make it as a professional footballer is a good example of the lived realities of children in Ghana.
“Growing up in Ghana I had a very difficult situation. I had no money to buy food or to get shelter. It was very difficult for me and my family,” Atsu explained.
The 26-year-old said he knew he was “lucky to come out of the situation” – but was more than aware others had not had his luck.
As a result, he has decided to help build a school attached to an orphanage which cares for 50 children in his home country.
Speaking an event he organised in Newcastle, together with charity organisation, Arms Around the Child, last night, he revealed he hoped to raise £50,000 for the scheme.
“We are seeing a lot of children suffering from child trafficking and child labour so we are working hard to get them out of this situation and give them better education,” Atsu, who earns a reported £10,000 a week, said.
“I think it’s very important for footballers to get involved because they can inspire a lot of people to help in charity causes.”
His Senegalese teammate Mohamed Diame agreed.
“Footballers are privileged people so it’s important to share and give support and never forget the people in Africa,” he said.
“Helping others should be a normal thing because God tells us that we have to share,” Diame added.