The Senegalese international basketball player Gorgui Sy Dieng is actively participating in efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19, through the foundation he established in 2015.
The NBA player has donated medical equipment to the Senegalese Ministry of Health and Social Welfare in support of health-care professionals. The donation consisted of personal protective equipment (PPE) for medical staff, who are often exposed to the virus, and included protective gowns and FFP2 masks as well as prevention products such as antiseptics and alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
The basketball star is also involved in social welfare initiatives to help Senegalese people in New York and considers it his duty to assist vulnerable people affected by this health crisis.
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As an advocate of the development through sport in general and through basketball in particular, Géraldine was the driving force in setting up Yemaly, a non-profit organisation created in 2009 and based in France. Many of the association’s activities involve a purely social component to help disadvantaged children in Gabon.
With this in mind, Géraldine donated food and hygiene products to the orphanage La Maison de l’Espérance (House of Hope) with the support of a number of donors. The former captain of the Panthers, as Gabon’s women’s national basketball team is known, took the opportunity to raise the children’s awareness of the preventive measures and responsible behaviours to adopt during the pandemic.
As of 15 September 2020, Gabon had recorded over 8,650 confirmed cases of coronavirus, 7,785 patients recovered and 53 deaths. The Libreville Sports Arena has been transformed into a clinical testing laboratory with capacity to process 10,000 tests a day.
In view of the alarming rate at which COVID-19 is spreading in Côte d’Ivoire, a country with one of the world’s least effective health-care systems, former Côte d’Ivoire international footballer Didier Drogba has launched an awareness-raising campaign to assist the most vulnerable members of society. Drogba has donated 650 million CFA francs (€1 million) to the Côte d’Ivoire Government in support of its efforts to combat the spread of the coronavirus. In addition to calling for compliance with hygiene guidelines, his foundation has distributed 5,000 food kits and masks in the Treichville district of Abidjan, the country’s economic capital.
In addition to this financial and food aid, Drogba has also made his charitable foundation’s Laurent Pokou Hospital available to the Côte d’Ivoire authorities. Located in Attécoubé, Abidjan, the hospital is serving as a screening centre for the district during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The two-time African Player of the Year has taken the opportunity to urge his fellow citizens into action. “My football friends, fellow athletes, champions of peace, influencers, opinion leaders, heads of families, religious leaders, all of you, listen to this message and raise as much awareness as you can around you and around the world”, he said.
Further initiatives have come from Wilfried Zaha, who distributed four tonnes of rice and 2,000 litres of oil through his foundation, and Max-Alain Gradel, who donated medical equipment to health-care staff at the University Hospital of Cocody, a district of Abidjan.