By Duncan Mlanjira
Football Association of Malawi has been awarded with the Best Social Marketing Initiative of the Year for the Ecobank FAM Charity Shield by the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) Malawi.
The Marketing Excellence awards gala, held on Saturday November 30 at Amaryllis Hotel in Blantyre, awarded FAM for dedicating the charity tournament towards the fight against renewed violence on people with albinism.
“We salute all football fans who supported the FAM Charity Shield cause and special mention should go to Ecobank, the Pan African Bank, for believing in the cause and sponsoring the Charity Shield,” said FAM in a statement.
From the proceeds the 2019 Ecobank Charity Shield, FAM donated a top of the range Ford Ranger twin cab with a trailer to the Association of People with Albinism (APAM) in September.
FAM contributed K9 million while the two participating teams, Nyasa Big Bullets and Mighty Be Forward Wanderers, forfeited their K1 million allocations for their own charitable events towards the purchase of the vehicle.
APAM using the vehicle for rapid response in the fight against the barbaric killings, abductions and discriminations against people with albinism in Malawi.
Speaking during the official handover of the car at the Mpira Village in September, FAM president Walter Nyamilandu said the donation is a proof that football remains a great tool for solving social and economic challenges in the country.
“It feels good that we are capable of achieving bigger things with football and this donation proves that apart from providing wholesome entertainment, it can help to solve social ills.
“Previously, football was underutilised and most people saw football fans as mere noise makers but we have proved that we can do great things for the good of the country in addressing social and economic challenges that people face,” Nyamilandu had said.
Ecobank became the official sponsor of the Charity Shield and their Head of Commercial and Consumer Banking, Victoria Chanza hailed all the stakeholders for making the project a success in reaching out to the less privileged.
“As a bank, we always want to assist the less privileged and the Charity Shield was one of the initiative so we would like to thank all that participated in the games for their good will,” she said.
APAM National Coordinator Overstone Kondowe had said the vehicle will ease their operational challenges especially on rescue missions of their members in hard to reach areas.
Under the theme ‘One Love stop the killings’, this year’s Shield took place at the Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre on the weekend of March 30 and was participated by Wanderers, Blue Eagles and Masters Security FC and the eventual winners Bullets.
The Charity Shield, which is the Malawi football’s season opener, is FAM’s flagship corporate social responsibility programme which started in 2016.