by Aziza Uko
MORE PHOTOS AFTER THE STORY
It’s not often that living magic happens.
Thanks to global giant, Samsung, truly moving events took place yesterday, May 17, 2013 at the Dream the Blues Camp at the Chelsea FC training facility at Cobham, UK.
Samsung took its sponsorship of Chelsea FC, easily, one of the world’s most important footballs clubs, to a new level in Corporate Social Responsibility as it launched the Dream the Blues Campaign in January 13, 2013. 14 football loving kids chosen from 7 countries (Nigeria, Brazil, Mexico, Ghana, South Africa, Thailand, and China) were chosen and given the opportunity of a lifetime at the Dream the Blues Finale in London.
Nigeria was represented at the camp by Jep Mallam (11) and Moses Magnut (13). (You can read their stories by clicking on their names.) They joined 10 other young football lovers who made it to London.
What’s the magical moment?
When the four Chelsea FC players and the Dream the Blues Ambassadors, Fernando Torres, Juan Mata, Victor Moses, and Oscar, who are also football heroes to most of the kids walked on to the pitch to train with kids from around the world.
“Your dreams are real, they can come to pass, just work hard and don’t give up,” Fernando Torres told the kids as he smiled down at them.
“It was worth it!” exclaimed Gabriel Oyediji, guardian to Nigerian Moses Magnut, apparently referring to the hassles he passed through in getting a visa for Moses to be at the Dream the Blues camp. “Seeing Moses on the pitch, training with Torres, Mata, Oscar, and Victor Moses just makes everything we went through to bring Moses here, worth it.”
“Not in a million years, would we have thought that Jep would be standing on the same field with Victor Moses, Oscar, Torres, and Mata, kicking the same ball, into the same net,” confessed Charles Omofomwan of the SOS Children’s Village, Abuja who chaperoned Nigerian Jep Mallam to the camp. “Thanks to Samsung, I am speechless. This is a great moment in Jep’s life. And indeed, all the children’s lives.”
“This is CSR at its best,” said Usman Imanah, Media and PR Resources Manager at Samsung Electronic West Africa. “Samsung is about making dreams come true and this project, Dream the Blues Campaign, was designed without profit in mind, it is purely about making a tangible impact in the lives of the kids.”
Speaking to the press after the event, Dream the Blues Ambassador and back-to-back Player of the Year, Juan Mata said, “It is nice to share our football with the kids, training with them and we have fun because they are really good, they have the quality.”
“Playing with them and training with them meant a lot to them,” Nigerian Victor Moses, also a Dream the Blues Ambassador said. “We really enjoy it, going out there, playing football with the kids and then if you look at their face, they were smiling and stuff. So it was great to be out there and enjoying it with them.”
Samsung launched the Dream the Blues Campaign which targets football loving kids between the ages of 9 and 13, in the United Kingdom in 2007 as an extension of Samsung-Chelsea FC Youth Football Camp program, and since then the programme as benefited and inspired more than 6,000 youths from around the world.
YNaija was in London to cover this event courtesy of Samsung Electronics West Africa Limited