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Sunday, February 26, 2017
African kids get the shirt of Rooney's back
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¬†The Rooney effect is about to reach a new set of fans who don't mind whether he plays in red or blue. After England's footballing prodigy moved to Manchester United last week, his former club Everton donated over £60,000 worth of unsold Rooney kit to CAFOD for its former child soldier project in Liberia. The merchandise will soon be winging its way to the west African country and into the eager hands of young African fans. The children have all been released, escaped or left voluntarily from the various armies following the end of the 14-year civil war in Liberia last August. They now attend a demobilisation and reintegration project run by CAFOD partners Don Bosco Homes, which helps them overcome their trauma and ultimately aims to reintegrate them back into their families and communities. Don Bosco Homes Director Allan Lincoln said: "The kids are passionate about football here. Football plays a key role in the children's rehabilitation because it helps alleviate depression and teaches valuable team skills. Football also allows them to have fun and regain some of the childhood that was so brutally taken away from them. The sport is a therapy." "The kids are huge Rooney fans and followed his success closely during the recent European Championships. Many of them have very little clothing so won't care what colour Rooney shirt they get. For them, it is a wonderful feeling to know that there are people looking after and thinking of them. The educational materials Everton are sending us are also vital to our work." CAFOD supporter and Everton fan Andrew Holt, who requested Everton's support for the Liberian project, said: "This is a great gesture from Everton. Some good has come out of the fans' loss of Rooney. It's even more appropriate that they are helping out CAFOD as Wayne Rooney used to attend De La Salle school, in Croxteth, which raises money for CAFOD." Everton Football Club spokesman Ian Ross said: "Losing such a precocious young talent was bitterly disappointing for everyone connected with Everton Football club, but by donating what is self-evidently redundant stock to such a worthwhile cause perhaps good will come out of bad. "CAFOD do an enormous amount of remarkable humanitarian work and we, as a club, are just happy to help out. "
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