From the Premier League to poverty - former Norwich City star in eye-opening charity trip to Ghana
PUBLISHED: 10:24 25 May 2019 | UPDATED: 10:24 25 May 2019
It’s a time when professional footballers jet off for their holidays after an arduous season - but former Norwich City footballer Nathan Redmond was not heading for beach bars or sun loungers after his last match.
Less than 24 hours after the end of the season, the ex-Canary flew to Accra, the capital city of Ghana, for three days as an ambassador for international children's charity Right To Play.
The poverty the Southampton winger saw was a far cry from the privilege of the Premier League.
"I visited a village and there were young girls reading poems about their empowerment and how they were being treated by their families," Redmond told Press Association Sport.
"There was a drama group who performed a common theme where girls who are 13, if they live in rural areas, are being sent to live with uncles and aunties in the bigger cities and they end up being raped by some of their relatives. It was shocking."
Right To Play operates in 2,600 schools around the world while also working in 52 refugee camps in Ethiopia, Jordan, Lebanon, the Palestinian Territories, Thailand and Uganda.
The charity uses sport to educate, protect and empower 1.9 million underprivileged children every week.
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Redmond, 25, who made 121 appearances for Norwich City before his £10m south coast switch, visited three schools during his visit.
He said: "You see how happy and humble the kids are despite not having more than one school uniform to wear for a year.
"I was there while they were having lessons, they had a chalkboard at the front of the classroom which had no windows - just holes in the wall - there are no pens, papers, pencils.
"They get in groups of five or six and they are doing lessons on the floor with chalk. It makes you want to make a difference."
And he has been, though donations to the children's charity.
He said: "My family and I make a donation every month regardless, but a goal is £1,000 and an assist is £500.
"It shows I'm part of the organisation and the Right To Play family. We're here to spread awareness, educate, empower and give them hope.
"The element of a Premier League player is always exciting for the kids and they were so happy and humble. Their smiles were super-infectious."
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