I founded the charity, Kihsan, at the end of 2016 to help fund schooling for underprivileged children in the Central African Republic, where my parents were born.
The name “Kihsan” is a combination of the first letter of my surname—the “K” in Kondogbia—and “Ihsan”, my son’s second name. The name reflects the importance I attach to this charity.
Setting up a charity like Kihsan is something I first began thinking about when I decided that I wanted to be a professional footballer. It has to do with my upbringing, which places great importance on helping others. Everyone can do their part, according to their means, of course. I am lucky in that I have the media exposure and the financial means to make a contribution. And I feel it is my duty to do so.
My son is lucky to have everything he needs. In the Central African Republic, I have seen children who have no school supplies, or worse, nothing to eat. There are no words to describe what I have seen over there. You need to actually be there to realise how difficult it is for children to get an education in those conditions. Which is why I wanted to begin by contributing to the development of schooling in the Central African Republic, through the funding of basic amenities such as sanitary installations and access to potable water, and providing school supplies. This is essential for these children’s future. We just want them to be able to go to school in normal conditions!
The first school we have targeted in located in the Zila district of Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic. Our plan is to begin renovation works in the summer of 2017. But we also want to collect school supplies, chairs, blackboards, etc.
In addition to my own contribution, I am also planning to raise funds by hosting a number of events, including football tournaments, and competitions with a chance to win football jerseys. To raise maximum awareness, I will be hosting these events in France, my own country, and in Italy, where I am currently pursuing my career.
Unfortunately, the school in Zila is not the only school that can benefit from our assistance. Which is why I would eventually like to extend our project to cover the whole of the Central African Republic. I would also like to be able to make as significant a contribution as possible in the field of health by facilitating access to medication and healthcare. And in the long run, possibly even extend the project to include other countries in need.