Midfielder organises star-studded match to aid poor in native Congo
YOUSSOUF Mulumbu is organising a star-studded charity match to raise funds for his newly-formed foundation which he has set up to aid the poor and needy in his native DR Congo.
Mulumbu’s ‘All Stars’ will wear a strip that he has donated via the Premier League Players’ Kit Scheme when they take on Vita Club at the ‘Stade des Martyrs’ national stadium in Kinshasa on Tuesday, June 18.
Afterwards, the Nike kit will be handed over to a junior/school team through the ‘Youssouf Mulumbu Foundation’, which the Albion midfielder and Dr Congo international founded in January.
The Baggies fan-favourite has enlisted some impressive support for the fundraising match and will boast the likes of Anzhi Makhachkala’s Samuel Eto’o, Marseille’s Andre Ayew, Barcelona’s Alex Song and Stade Rennais’ Jean Makoun as team-mates for the day.
The Premier League Players’ Kit Scheme, which began in 2011, is a joint initiative between the Premier League and Professional Footballers Association (PFA). Mulumbu and his Hawthorns team-mates have joined their top-flight counterparts in donating £25,000 per club – to create a £500,000 fund.
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 benefitting teams from areas in most need of assistance.
Mulumbu is delighted his kit will aid youngsters in his poverty-stricken homeland.
“The Premier League Players’ Kit Scheme is a really nice idea,” he said.
“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.”
Mulumbu has revealed what prompted him to set up his Foundation and organise the fundraising match.
“I was walking the streets in Congo and saw so many poor people,” he added.
“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.
“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.
“I hope the game is going to be good.
“All of the money will go to my charity. 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.
“I started from the bottom and I know how it feels when you don’t have help,” he added.
“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 the club in acquiring Albion kit for his fellow countrymen.
“Every year at Albion I collect stuff and take it back to Congo – I take everything I can get my hands on!” he quipped.
“I’m grateful to the club’s board, my team-mates and the kitman for helping me.
“These are the first steps of the foundation and I hope it will be a great thing in the future.”