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21.03.2006 Regional News

Right to Play enters new partnership with a US NGO

By GNA

Accra, March 21, GNA - Right to Play, an International NGO under the United Nations which focuses on children by using sports for development and peace has struck a new partnership deal with Forever Young Foundation and Operation Kids based in the US to give hope to children in disadvantaged communities in Ghana.

An initial 50,000 US dollars is to be doled out by Forever Young to facilitate the activities of Right to Play to ensure a new lease of life for the disadvantaged children through sports and play. The deal was facilitated by the Ministry of Education and Sports, which endorsed the activities of Right to Play, after an initial background check by Operation Kids.

It is the first time the US-based Forever Young, founded by NFL legend, Steve Young would be operating outside the States and the first on the continent of Africa.

Mr. Sterling C. Tanner, President of the Foundation said apart from the main criteria used in selecting the Ghana chapter of Right to Play, the decision was hugely influenced by the country's political stability, which he said is "a model for Africa". He said a team from the Foundation was expected back in the country in May, next year to assess the work of Right to Play and possibly expand their frontiers.

The President also announced a commitment of an additional 50,000 US dollars to assist some institutions, which collaborates with Right to Play.

Ms Suzanne Geudeke, the new Communications Coordinator of Right to Play in Ghana said a pilot programme has been initiated to use the Accra Teacher's Training Centre to train individuals to address the needs of the kids through specific non-competitive sports. Some other training institutions have been pencilled down to expand the programme.

Mr. O. B. Amoah, a Deputy Minister of Education and Sports who witnessed the ceremony in Accra on Tuesday expressed the hope that the programme would contribute largely to achieving the UN's Millennium Development Goals in the country, which includes poverty eradication and gender equality.

He said since Ghana got elected into the International Working Group in 2005, the ministry has been able to identify sports as a tool for development and peace.

The Deputy Minister said subsequently, sports have been factored into the policy framework in the country's growth and poverty reduction policy for the 2006-2009 periods.

Right to Play, an athlete-driven international humanitarian organisation, has been targeting the youth particularly those in the Nima-441 communities of Accra to identify their talents and help them blossom. 21 March 06

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