Sadio Mane's altruism in Bambali and Africa - William Pickworth


Sadio Mane has transformed the lives of African villagers with hospital build and school donations

Sadio Mane continues to transform the lives of those living in his native Senegal with heart-warming charity work

Liverpool legend Sadio Mane may have stolen the headlines for his footballing abilities, including 120 goals in 269 games across a six-year-spell at Anfield, but it is his charity work that is making the biggest difference.

Mane has been known for his philanthropy during his time with the Reds, regularly doing all he can to improve the lives of people back in his native Senegal. A national icon, ManĂ© grew up in Bambali, a Senegalese village 250 miles away from the country’s capital Dakar. When he was 15 he ran away from home to become a professional footballer – but he has never forgotten his roots.

When Covid-19 hit in March 2020, Mane donated £41,000 to the Senegalese National Committee fighting the pandemic. However, his most inspiring work has been done in his home village of Bambali.

He has helped transform the village, which has an estimated population of 2,000 people, to a stage where Bambali is on the verge of becoming a town.

Firstly, Mane built a £455,000 public hospital, which includes a maternity care unit. Mane’s father died when he was a child and the lack of health services in his home region has become a big cause in his life. “I remember my sister was also born at home because there is no hospital in our village. It was a really, really sad situation for everyone. I wanted to build one to give people hope,” he told the Guardian in 2020.

The inclusion of a maternity unit is particularly pivotal with the maternal mortality rate in Senegal extremely high at 315 deaths per 100,000 births. This is compared to just 13.4 per 100,000 in the UK. The number of pregnancy-related deaths is even higher in rural areas of Senegal with as many as one in 19 women dying in childbirth so Mane’s investment will make a huge difference in the region.

He also donated £250,000 for a free public secondary school and provided laptops and $400 each to the best-performing students of Bambali High School. To further boost the opportunities of young people in the village, Mane often gives out free sportswear. This included donating 300 Liverpool shirts ahead of the 2018 Champions League final so those in his village could wear them.

Mane has also built a petrol station and is currently helping to construct a post office. He also gives €70 monthly to each family in the village and provides them with 4G internet connection. These measures all aim to help improve the connectivity to other areas and reduce the isolation and inequalities that rural villages in Senegal often suffer from.

Now Senegal’s all-time record goalscorer, Mane is a national icon in more ways than one.

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