On February 24th we hosted the Canadian Premiere of Louder Together, the Global Citizen documentary. It was the first event in Toronto alongside our partners of Global Citizen and we could not be more proud of helping them spread their message in Canada. The event took place at the Hot Docs movie theater and also served to talk about the Foundation’s work in Congo and the projects for the future. With more than 300 people in attendance, including many of Serge Ibaka’s Raptors teammates, the evening was a great success and just a taste of what’s coming in the future working together with Global Citizen.
As new Global Citizen ambassador and advocate for heath, Serge Ibaka attended the Global Citizen Festival at Central Park in New York. Serge represented the Serge Ibaka Foundation and talked about the projects in Congo and the need to raise awareness on health issues in Congo, Africa and the World. His powerful and heartfelt speech reminded us that everybody can contribute in changing the world. During the week leading to the Festival, Serge met with Global Citizen Founder Hugh Evans and other health advocates, starting a partnership that aims to have a big and lasting impact.
During the Pan – African Weekend in NYC, the Face List Awards organized by Face 2 Face Africa were celebrated on July 15th. The organization presented Serge Ibaka and the Serge Ibaka Foundation with the Humanitarian of the Year award and Serge himself received the award. “It’s an honor to be here with you all and to receive this award. I take the work with the Foundation very seriously because I never forget where I come from and I know how difficult it can be to grow up with difficulties in Africa“, Serge said. The award was presented by Sherrie Deans, Executive director of the NBPA (NBA’s Players association)’s Foundation. Deans praised the work done by the Foundation in Africa and Ibaka’s dedication in his homeland. Ibaka is currently on the board of the NBPA Foundation and both entities are working together on projects in Africa.
Connecting with the congolese youth and inspiring them, and celebrating congolese culture using basketball and music. Those are the goals of the Ibaka Games, which were held for the fourth straight year in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo’s capital and Serge Ibaka’s hometown. In partnership with Cowbell Milk, the event hosted boys and girls from three to eighteen years old and public from all ages.
The event consisted of different activities, outdoor and indoor, at the Makélékélé sports center. Outside, the youngest children from different orphanages participated in an initiation basketball clinic with Serge Ibaka. It was him, too, that greeted the directors of each institution. They received the symbolic bags of dairy product that illustrated the contribution that they will receive during the whole year. Still outside, there were dance, music and art performances building up the anticipation of the main event inside the gym.
In the morning and in the previous day, a selection of kids, fourteen to eighteen years old, had participated in a Serge Ibaka Dreams Academy basketball camp. In the afternoon, the same kids played an exhibition game for the crowd, that filled the stands in an unprecedented way in the city. Almost 4.000 congolese where in attendance. Musical performances and a dunk contest followed and preceded the main event, the celebrity game with Serge Ibaka himself and guests like profesional basketball players Christian Eyenga and Chanel Mokango, or congolese comedias like Saï Saï and Esobe. The crowd cheered and experienced an event rarely seen in the Congo. It was a big celebration of african culture and sports that will for sure have another chapter next summer.
For the second straight year Cowbell Milk was our partner in Brazzaville, Serge Ibaka’s hometown and the capital of the Republic of Congo. The partnership is solidified and growing, and the charitable plan put together is having a major impact during the whole year. Working closely with orphanages and youth centers, the partnership provides dairy products on a monthly basis, satisfying a basic need for the children living in these institutions.
In June 2017, the Foundation’s expedition visited three centers (Ecole Speciale, La Bonne Semence, Espace Jarrot)and greeted 4 more (Notre Damme de Nazareth, Coeur Immacule de Marie, St Joseph Gaston Celeste, Soeur Dorcas) during the anual sports and culture event Ibaka Games, delivering product and spending time with the dedicated people in charge of the institutions. Bigger plans to develop their facilities are in the works as the partnership with Cowbell grows.