Thursday 13 June 2013
Samuel Eto’o and Alex Song will be among the players donning the kit donated via the Premier League Players’ Kit Scheme in a star-studded charity match organised by West Bromwich Albion midfielder Youssouf Mulumbu.
"The Premier League Players’ Kit Scheme is a really nice idea”
Barcelona and former Arsenal midfielder Song, Anzhi Makhachkala striker Eto’o and former Aston Villa midfielder Jean Il Makoun will take part in a charity match to raise funds for Mulumbu’s newly formed foundation, which he established to aid the poor in his native DR Congo.
Mulumbu’s "All Stars" will wear a strip that he first donated via the Premier League Players’ Kit Scheme when they take on Vita Club at the national stadium in Kinshasa on Tuesday 18 June. The Nike kit will then be handed over to a junior school team through the Youssouf Mulumbu Foundation, which the DR Congo international founded in January.
The Premier League Players’ Kit Scheme, which began in 2011, is a joint initiative between the Premier League and the Professional Footballers Association (PFA) which involves players from each Barclays Premier League club donating £25,000 per club to create a £500,000 fund for the kit.
This season, each Albion player has been asked to nominate a school, junior club or youth organisation to receive a donation of Nike team strips and training equipment, with the scheme aimed at benefiting teams from areas in most need of assistance and Mulumbu is delighted his kit will aid youngsters in his homeland.
“The Premier League Players’ Kit Scheme is a really nice idea,” Mulumbu told West Brom’s website. “The All Stars team will wear the kit in the charity match and after that it will go to a school or team that really need it.”
The 26-year-old explained what prompted him to set up his Foundation and organise the Tuesday’s benefit match. “I was walking the streets in Congo and saw so many poor people,” Mulumbu said. “I asked what I could do to help them and the best thing for me was to start a charity.
“I can’t help everyone on the streets of Congo but if I can do even a little to help, I’m not going to hesitate. We decided a charity match would be a good idea and I spoke with some players and asked if they could come to support me.
"Hopefully I can set up a school. The best thing in Africa and this world is to get an education from a young age"
“After the game, on the evening, I’m doing an auction of shirts that have been given to me by players like [Nicolas] Anelka, [Paul] Pogba and [John] Obi Mikel. Romelu Lukaku and Peter Odemwingie are also giving me a shirt and making a financial contribution. I really appreciate it. It makes me feel like I’m doing the right thing.”
Mulumbu is looking forward to the match, which he hopes will help his foundation take off and help fulfil his dream of building a school for the socially disadvantaged. “All of the money will go to my charity,” he said. "In the future, hopefully I can set up a school or something like that. The best thing in Africa and in this world is getting education from a young age.”
Mulumbu, who was born in Kinshasa, says he has never forgotten his humble beginnings and now, with the help of the Premier League Kit Scheme he hopes to give something back and making a positive difference.
“I started from the bottom and I know how it feels when you don’t have help,” he said. “My foundation will help people and make a change in their lives. The office in Kinshasa has just opened. I have people working there every day.”
Mulumbu also revealed he enlists the help of West Brom in acquiring kit for his fellow countrymen. “Every year at Albion I collect stuff and take it back to Congo,” he said. “I take everything I can get my hands on.”
“I’m grateful to the club’s board, my team-mates and the kit man for helping me. These are the first steps of the foundation and I hope it will be a great thing in the future.”