THE personal story of Port Adelaide defender Emmanuel Irra has convinced his Power teammates to make a donation to World Vision Australia.
World Vision was chosen by Power rookie Irra with the decision supported by his teammates.
The $5,000 donation is part of the AFL Players Care official charity initiative.
AFL Players Care was established in 2014 with players contributing $50 of their match fee each week.
Half of that money is then donated to the AFL Players’ official charity partner, Ladder, to help tackle youth homelessness, while the rest is contributed to the AFL Players Care fund which is distributed to clubs so that players can support other charities they are passionate about.
World Vision is an international aid agency working in about 90 countries which also does work in Australia with Indigenous people.
For Irra, who left Uganda and arrived in Australia as a ten-year-old, the cause was close to his heart.
“I think it’s a very worthy cause because the work they do in that area is something I can relate to, especially with my background and where I came from,” he said.
“It’s essential to have the human basic needs and some countries don’t have that so World Vision, to be able to provide people with those essentials is just so important.
“The boys were really understanding of just how fortunate and privileged as we are in Australia and telling them my story meant it was pretty easy to convince them to donate to World Vision.”
The donation came during Refugee Week and during the Power Intercultural Program carnival which sees 225 children from multicultural backgrounds playing football against each other at Alberton Oval.
The Chair of the World Vision Australia board, Shannon Adams – coincidentally a Port Adelaide supporter – was thrilled to receive the donation.
“It is a sizeable donation that will do a lot of good,” he said.
“It is very generous of the AFLPA to make the donation and it is particularly poignant that it was Emmanuel’s suggestion that this be made given his background.
“The refugee problems in the world are very large – I saw a statistic that every minute, 20 people leave everything behind and that’s a lot of people.
“World Vision is working with refugees in many places, so it is great that Emmanuel’s idea has led to this gift which has brought attention to this issue, particularly in the context of Refugee Week and what is going on here today with the Power Intercultural Program.”
In March Port Adelaide players donated $5,000 to CanTeen through the AFL Players Care program.