Varying reactions have greeted the establishment of a foundation by the Ghana Football Association (GFA) and the early, positive steps managers of the Foundation have been taking to give meaning to the business they’ve committed to undertake.
While some argue that the setting up of the foundation is a smart, political move by the Kurt Okraku-led administration to canvass votes ahead of the GFA’s election this year, others contend that the FA is devotedly living up to its resolve to be a responsible organisation, which’s concerned about its people and the community it operates in.
I’m for that argument because it leans towards the case of corporate social responsibility, something organisations, irrespective their areas of operation, must take seriously. If the Kurt administration is therefore on this course, it’s necessary to commend them and examine the foundation’s work on its merit.
What does the Foundation seek to do? First, the GFA says the Foundation is “its social investment and sustainability management unit” and its objective is to “improve lives and livelihoods of people and football communities in Ghana. The Foundation will coordinate corporate social responsibility initiatives and charity projects”.
The Foundation hopes to also “use football and its outcomes to effect behavioral change and promote social change advocacy”. This FA has a knack for writing beautiful ideas and I see this Foundation as one of them. If the managers of the Foundation keep to the spirit and letter of their aim, the benefits would be for society’s greater good.
The five thematic areas of the Foundation would focus on are: “Community Development (Health & Education), Assistance to the underprivileged; Reduce, Reuse and Recycle initiatives across the FA’s operational footprints, Educate stakeholders of the game on violence, fair play and integrity and support the welfare of ex-footballers and officials”.
Pleasantly, the Foundation has started supporting ex-players and officials. They visited and donated GH50,000 to ex-Black Satellites coach Silas Tetteh and also went to former Black Stars Team Manager, Sabahn Quaye and ex-Hearts of Oak and Dawu Youngsters player, Thomas Qauye – giving them GH10,000 each.
These moves can’t be faulted. Even if they’re political moves targeted at winning votes, as long as they’re addressing vital human needs, easing vulnerabilities, it’s unwise to find fault with this work by the GFA Foundation.
Young or aged, footballer or not; If you’ve been in a vulnerable situation due to ill-health and you’ve no support materially or emotionally, you’ll appreciate the support and assistance of aid groups and what they seek to do. Yes, not many people trust the GFA on what they say and do but their good deeds shouldn’t be overlooked.
I hope that the managers of the GFA Foundation keep to their objectives and be true to their call to be there for their own and society’s good. They should embrace constructive criticism. The issues of monitoring and evaluation of the Foundation’s projects vis-à-vis impact are vital. Impact assessment is imperative for growth. We should all be interested in the growth of this foundation.