Goodluck and the Nigeria amputees

$4,175 of $15,000 goal

Raised by 40 people in 22 months

These are my friends in the Nigerian National Amputee Football Team.

For these guys, football (soccer) is more than a game — it’s a lifeline. Being part of this team provides these amputees with community, inspiration and purpose. The difficulties they face as people and athletes with disabilities in Nigeria are staggering.

This is the situation:
-- This team, despite representing the Nigerian nation, has no official support
-- It has lost access to a decent training ground and now have to make do with a pitch filled with potholes and water
-- Many of the players can’t afford bus fare to get to training, or the water they need to drink when playing
-- The team captain just broke his one leg, and is unable to work to support his wife and four kids
-- Eating a proper meal every day is something most of the players can’t afford

In spite of all that, these men, ranging in age from 18 to 45, burn with passion for the game and continue to pursue their dream of competing. Every opportunity to play is a victory for them. They’ve been a huge inspiration to me and I want to do everything I can to help them continue to play and be able to compete in the African Cup of Nations in Ghana this fall.

With your GoFundMe support, we will be able to pay for operational expenses for the team of 20 players for a whole year (starting June 1, 2017). This includes:
-- A graded and refurbished training pitch
-- Rental of changing room (with shower) and storage space
-- New equipment, including crutches, balls, shoes and bibs.
-- A monthly stipend for each player and the two coaches to contribute to food and transportation costs
-- A regular water supply and medical kit

We also want to help team captain Goodluck Obieze with his medical bills and make sure he gets back on the pitch. While his leg is healing, he’s not able to drive his moto taxi, his only source of income. He still has payments to make on this vehicle. With your support, we will be able to meet those payments and make sure he gets to keep his taxi.

You have my commitment that I will do everything I can to make sure your money is put to its maximum use. I’ve partnered with my friend and journalist colleague Toyosi Oyetunji, who will be coordinating business and media affairs on the ground. Together with Coach Gbenga Dosunmu and his team, we will stretch every naira as far as it can possibly go. Meanwhile, I’ll continue to follow and film these players to tell their extraordinary story.

You can help tell it, too! If you like the video story I made (above), share it and spread the word! Share the Facebook post that I wrote, from which the idea for the GoFundMe campaign was born:
And if you have any questions or if you have ideas for how you can help, please let me know. Together we’ll be able to do extraordinary things!

This is just the beginning ...
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Dear friends of the Nigerian amputee football team:

I'm so excited to share with you the great news about Goodluck and the team. With your amazing support, Goodluck was able to get the hospital care he needed, including two surgeries, and is now back at home with his family and soon to be back on the football pitch, too. We've provided the team with new boots, training bibs, crutches and balls, and we've made arrangements for the rehabilitation of the training pitch.

Soon after I put up the video story about Goodluck breaking his leg, I was contacted by a film director in the UK who had been moved by the story. He was looking to cast African athletes with disabilities in a short documentary commercial campaign for Guinness. The director wondered if Goodluck would make for a good candidate . I told him no athlete I've ever met has shown greater resilience and courage than this man.

Long story short, the film team has spent the past week in Lagos filming Goodluck and the team for this big commercial campaign. The financial support Goodluck is getting will help him pay off his moto taxi and more. The company has also agreed to make a legacy contribution in support of the team.

Where six months ago this team was falling apart, we are now looking to a bright future ahead. It is going to involve a lot of work, but I know that together we can do it! Thank you again for all your past and future support!
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Today I spoke with Coach Gbenga of the Nigeria amputee football team, who sends this greeting and update from Lagos. THANK YOU to all who have supported Goodluck Obieze and the amputee team. Please keep the donations coming. Every dollar, krona and naira will go to help these guys and I can't think of any people who deserve it more than them. Visit the GoFundMe page here and pledge your support. It's very easy!
Thank You from Coach Gbenga
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Hello supporters of Goodluck and the Nigeria amputee football team! The last few days have been somewhat tumultuous. Goodluck suffered an infection in his leg and has been hospitalized. But with your support we're now able to get him the treatment that he needs. I spoke with him earlier today and he's in good spirits, if a little groggy. He sends this video message to all his "fans" near and afar. The audio is not great, but there's no mistaking the love and appreciation. Please continue supporting and sharing this story, so that we can get Goodluck and the amputee team back on the pitch!
A message from Goodluck Obieze
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$4,175 of $15,000 goal

Raised by 40 people in 22 months
Created April 20, 2017
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