Chelsea Star Michael Essien Prepares for Trip to Ghana

Michael Essien

Chelsea footballer Michael Essien will be visiting his African home next week. On 16th November 2010, the local children in the Awutu Breku area of Ghana shall be spending  “A Day With Michael Essien.”

The event is to be a multi-organisation collaboration between the Michael Essien Foundation, the Chelsea Foundation and the charity Right to Play, which has very simple, acheivable aims: to launch a book aimed at improving literacy in the region; to build a water bore; to build a toilet for ten people; and to hold a sports day for local children.

Awutu Breku is the town where Chelsea and Ghana star Michael Essien grew up. Speaking to The Global Herald Essien descibes how the region is far removed from the trappings enjoyed in the London’s rich Chelsea area:

“One is A and the other is Z. Thats how far apart they are. Awutu Breku is a small village with nothing compared to what you will find at Chelsea.”

“However you will find very happy people going about their business just like any other group of people.”

“They dont have a lot but are always grateful for the little mercies in life available to them. Thats how I felt when I lived there and the people still feel the same today.”

“Its a special place but not like the riches you find at Chelsea”

Essien told how, “The facilities were not the best and although they are slightly better now they still need a lot of improvements.”

Michael Essien explained how the lack of a good water supply resulted in tragic consequences for him and his family

“I lost my senior brother who went to fetch water by the river and drowned as a result.”

“The bore hole will be really good for the people and the toilet facilities will be crucial for them as well.”

“Its only a start but a very good start”

The player told how he and his family are still firmly rooted in the Awutu Breku region:

“I have distant relatives who still live there and my mother goes there almost every week to visit our relatives.”

“Its only 45 minutes from Accra the capital of Ghana where most of the family have moved to and its easily accessible.”

“Because we are all one big family, I class everyone there as family”

But Essien’s new ‘family’, the footballing elite and super-wealthy stars of Chelsea Football Club, have helped him to achieve his goals of helping the people in the far-removed place in which he grew up, as did fellow Ghanain internationals, or “Black Stars”.

“a lot of my Chelsea and Ghana team mates have helped a great deal.”

“When we launched the foundation last year Stephen Appiah and a group of the Black Stars players were there to lend their support.”

“Also John Terry, Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba & Petr Cech donated jerseys, boots and gloves to be auctioned to raise funds. I couldnt ask for more – they were very supportive and generous”

Michael Essien’s Foundation, which launched in late 2009, has simple, achievable goals, Essien told The Global Herald:

“To give hope and inspiration to the people of Awutu Breku.”

“I want to give them a chance and to provide the basic necessities they deserve.”

“Hopefully they can benefit from my small contribution.”

“For the kids I want them to have a good day and be able to live their dreams in one way or another.”

The “Day With Michael Essien” event takes place in Awutu Breku, Ghana, on 16th November 2010, “if anyone is in Ghana on the 16th of November they are welcome to Awutu for the event.”

There are other ways to lend support, by visiting the Foundation page on and sending an email to the organisation.

Beyond the Awutu Breku “Day with Michael Essien” event, however, Michael Essien stressed to The Global Herald that he wanted to offer help wherever it was needed, through his Foundation, and concluded our interview with a positive message:

“Together lets help the needy in our society wherever they may be in the world.”

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