Exclusive: Southampton star Nathan Redmond shares philanthropic voluntary work with international children’s charity Right To Play, talks inspirational visit to Ghana

Reputable international children’s charity Right To Play is a registered charitable organization which has positively continued to richly empower and wholeheartedly advance the lives and wellbeing of far less fortunate children in needy communities throughout the world since its well-documented inception 19 years ago.

A few months prior to the memorable 1994 Lillehammer Winter Olympics, acclaimed record-breaking Norwegian speed skater and four-time Winter Olympics gold medallist, Johann Olav Koss, initially embarked upon a very inspirational humanitarian journey to the then newly formed African country of Eritrea.

Koss, as an ambassador of the organization Olympic Aid, subsequently established  Right To Play, witnessed first-hand the grimly depressing experiences and harshly eye-opening realities of life in a torn nation emerging from decades of war and conflict.

However, Right To Play’s tremendous and universally praised humanitarian work has  provided hope and prosperity for less fortunate families and communities throughout countless nations around the globe, namely some of the most destitute and poorly impoverished countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Right To Play has officially launched community-related programs in Rwanda, Tanzania, Mali, Uganda, Mali, Mozambique and Palestine, and protects, educates and empowers 2.3 million children each year. 

Right To Play’s dedicated mission  and philanthropic long-term goals focuses on the fundamental tenets of education, protection, empowerment of children post-abuse and war, coupled alongside the improvement of health and wellbeing,  and the everyday quality of life itself. Furthermore, Right To Play strategically and selflessly focuses on the much-needed social improvements for gender equality and peace.

Right To Play  encourages and fully educates young girls to refrain from early marriage and to continue their educational aspirations to create a far brighter future and career ahead. Moreover, the protection from diseases like HIV and malaria remains a core virtue of Right To Play’s ethos and aims, whilst assisting and educating the and under aged child labourers back to school. Right To Play inspires brave young refugees, often living in deplorable camp conditions below living standards, to both succeed and fully heal emotionally, intellectually, spiritually and mentally.

Right To Play galvanizes and bonds communities internationally by expertly training community leaders to comprehensively facilitate and coach children from all walks of life throughout its educational initiatives in 15 countries affected by disease, poverty and war.

FOX Sports Radio 96.9FM/1340AM’s Dean Perretta caught up with 25 year old Southampton star and Right To Play Ambassador, Nathan Redmond, to share his very inspirational journey to Accra, Ghana to see of Right To Play’s programmes first- hand.

 

 

 

 

Dean Perretta: Nathan, can you touch on your Ambassador role with reputable international children’s charity Right To Play and, of course, the enrichment this incredible cause has brought to children throughout the entire world?

Nathan Redmond: Right To Play is an incredible charity that works in 15 countries all over the world and operates in 52 refugee camps. It’s a charity that is very close to my heart. Right To Play uses sport and play to protect, educate and empower millions of disadvantaged and underprivileged children every year who have been affected by poverty, conflict and disease in some of the world’s most dangerous places. I believe that every child deserves the chance to succeed and being an Ambassador for Right To Play allows me to fulfil this personal aspiration and make a difference to children’s lives. My family and I personally support Right To Play by making a regular donation.

To mark International Day of Sport for Development and Peace this year, I wore customised Right To Play boots during the Southampton vs Wolverhampton Wanderers games and scored two goals. Also, a day after I returned from my visit to see Right To Play programmes in Ghana, I was called up to the England squad. Right To Play has certainly been a lucky charm for me.

 

Dean Perretta: Within the humanitarian and development context, both personally and professionally, how would you describe your recent inspirational philanthropic journey to Accra, Ghana?

Nathan Redmond: I spent two days in Ghana visiting Right To Play’s life-changing programmes around Accra.

I was incredibly moved and humbled by what I saw. It was a completely eye-opening experience and one that I will cherish for the rest of my life. I visited three schools, and took part in literacy, numeracy and PE lessons. The classrooms there (in Accra) had no windows – just holes in the wall – there were no pens, papers, pencils. The children were doing their lessons on the floor with chalk. It really puts things into perspective. It makes you want to make a difference and be extra thankful for what you have. The children in Ghana are crazy about sports and love football. This trip gave me the chance to see Right To Play’s work in action and to be assured that all the donations people make is changing lives of disadvantaged children. Despite daily adversity and immense struggle, there are some amazing children and teachers that are determined to make a real change. Personally, this journey has been very fulfilling and professionally, it made me realise that the ‘power of play’ can go far beyond our pitches and stadiums.

 

Dean Perretta: Right To Play operates in over 2,600 schools worldwide, as well as 52 refugee camps globally. With that being said, can you talk about the strong sense of community and camaraderie throughout Accra amongst the Ghanaian people based on your experience?

Nathan Redmond: From my visit and meeting the Right To Play Ghana team, it was apparent that sport was the unifying force within society. They told me how after each win by the (Ghana) national football team the whole country rallies together to celebrate and they use sports to bring people together and encourage peace. Right to Play have a programme there called ‘Play to Learn’ where they have developed the skills of youths in team work, communication, and leadership. They have then used those skills to carry out different initiatives like getting communities involved in clean-up activities.

 

Dean Perretta: The power of sport as mentioned has the profound capacity to alter futures and communities. However, can you talk about the conscious efforts which are being made to improve grass roots sports funding and youth training academies throughout Ghana?

Nathan Redmond: The Ghana FA (Football Association), with funding support from government, have initiated a grass roots programme to get young, talented players playing for their communities, schools and the nation under the Ghanaman Soccer Academy Initiative.

 

 

Dean Perretta: Lastly, where can the general public pledge donations to Right To Play?

Nathan Redmond: You can learn more about Right To Play by visiting www.righttoplay.org.uk. The website is great and covers all the information you need, as well as some powerful stories on how children’s lives are changed using sport and play.

Click here if you would like to make a donation. There are many other ways you can support Right To Play including selecting ‘Right To Play UK’ as your charity of choice on Amazon Smile, taking part in a challenge for Right To Play, choosing ‘Right To Play’ as the charity you are supporting in a Facebook fundraiser for your birthday. Check out this link to learn about quick ways to support this tremendous charity.

I would also recommend following them on social media for updates and examples of their great work. I think I feature in a few posts too! Follow @RightToPlayUK on Facebook and Instagram and @RightToPlay_UK on Twitter.

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Dean Perretta

Dean Perretta is a 2x SEA Award-winning creative, Broadcast Journalist, Reporter, Courtside Analyst for BBC televised London Lions and Executive Producer who currently contributes to FOX Sports Radio, FourFourTwo Magazine and Muscle & Fitness Magazine.