The wellbeing of student-athletes admits the Coronavirus crisis is one of the major priorities of LEAD-Africa, the parent organization of LEAD-Monrovia Football and LEAD-Morocco.
Liberia and Morocco are among many countries battling the COVID-19, which has led to LEAD's academies cancelling all its activities, with the parent body shouldering the responsibility to provide basic necessities for its student-athletes, especially in Liberia where 125 students and staff are currently self-quarantining at its residential campus.
Former US women's national team coach Jill Ellis on Saturday kick-started a US$30,000 fundraising campaign for LEAD-Africa academies. Jill opened the campaign on Saturday with a $2,500 donation to the process.
Jill, who served as Head Coach of the U.S. Women's National Team from 2014-2019, is one of two coaches in history to win two FIFA World Cup championships. She was named FIFA Coach of the Year in 2015 and 2019. Since 2016, she has served on LEAD's Advisory Committee.
"As we think about family, friends, and community, I want to make sure we don't lose sight of what is happening at LEAD's academies in both Liberia and Morocco. COVID-19 has now reached both countries, forcing the academies to close schools and cancel all activities. This means 151 boys and girls now lack access to food, drinking water, medical supplies, and other basic necessities. I ask you to join me in giving whatever you can to support the academies and provide the necessary care to our students. If we raise $30,000, we will ensure our students have all of their basic needs met for the next two months," Jill wrote.
Up to press time, Jill had raised $23,578 of $30,000 from 33 donors. One of the notable donors among the 33 include former NFL player Ronnie Lott, who matched Jill's $2,500.
The funds will be used to provide basic necessities, including breakfast, dinner and sanitation supplies among others for the next two months.
LEAD-MFA currently has 109 student-athletes, while LEAD-Morocco has 42 student-athletes.