Caltex Socceroo Awer Mabil has continued his sensational 2018 after being awarded the FIFPro Merit Award in recognition for his philanthropy work in Kenya.
Mabil and his brother founded the charity Barefoot to Boots, which began as a means of providing the kids with boots. However, Barefoot to Boots strives to offer education and healthcare outcomes for kids in the Kakuma camp.
Mabil was born in Kakuma refugee camp a year after his parents fled from Sudan in 1994.
The 23-year-old striker, currently playing for Danish champions, FC Midtjylland, returned to the Kakuma camp in 2014 and noticed how popular football was amongst the children.
“My aim is to make refugees’ lives easier, to make them realise more that their dreams can come true,” Mabil said via video message during the presentation of the Merit Award in Rome.
“They (refugees) just want an opportunity to be seen and not be isolated.” - Awer Mabil
Closer to home, Professional Footballers Australia will establish a Community Leadership Program to help players understand the way football can transform communities.
PFA National Manager of Player Development, Beau Busch, said Awer’s achievements have paved the way for other players to follow his lead.
“Awer’s achievement is an incredible example of the impact our players are making in communities all over the world and highlights the positive impact they can make both on and off the pitch.
“Our hope is that through education, training and creating a network of community partners, our Community Leadership Program will provide a vehicle for more PFA members to emulate Awer’s achievement.”