The United Nations has announced their selection of Egyptian football star and Liverpool winger Mohamed Salah to become the first Ambassador for Instant Network Schools, a program that connects refugee and host country students to opportunities for high-quality online education, according to a UNHCR statement.
The organization said on its official website that Salah will participate in the UNHCR program through visits to schools that the program supports, and will help to raise awareness of the need and importance of quality education for refugee children, and for more investment in technology that connects students with the outside world and gives them an opportunity to shape their future.
According to the website, the Instant Network Schools program was implemented in 2013 with the aim of providing an online means of communication to young refugees, the communities that embrace them, and their teachers.
The program also aims to provide marginalized students with online science materials in order to improve the quality of education in refugee communities across the continent of Africa.
The program has so far benefited more than 86,500 students and more than a thousand teachers, ensuring refugees and children in these communities in Africa have access to quality, accredited education.
There are currently 36 instant school communication networks in eight refugee camps in Kenya, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan, according to the statement.
Those in charge of the program are seeking to reach 255 schools by 2025, and are also hoping to expand the program to refugee communities in Egypt for the first time.
“I’m partnering with Vodafone Foundation and UNHCR to close the gap between the education available to refugees and their peers living in settled communities,” the statement quoted Salah as saying.
“Instant Network Schools is an important initiative that I am proud to represent, which is transforming learning for a generation of young people across sub-Saharan Africa and soon also in my home country, Egypt,” the international football icon continued.
Salah was selected as the first ambassador of the program because of his contribution to a number of humanitarian and charitable projects.
Born in Egypt’s Basyoun village, Salah has previously donated to charitable projects in his hometown. In December 2018, Salah donated LE900,000 to the Basyoun General Hospital, and alongside his father, Salah also donated five acres of land to establish a sewage treatment plant in his home village, giving residents there a stable source of fresh, clean water.
Salah has scored 70 goals in the Premier League since joining Liverpool in 2017, and recently outperformed Lionel Messi and other European and international football stars in the latest ranking from Transfermarkt for the most valuable right-side wingers in the football world.
The Egyptian football icon has also racked up a number of awards since joining Liverpool. He won the League’s Golden Boot Award for 2017-2018 and later won the award again the following season alongside teammate Sadio Mane and Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, making him the sixth player in history to win the award in back-to-back seasons.
Salah has also claimed Player of the Month three times, once in 2017 and twice in 2018, recently claimed Liverpool’s Goal of the Month award for January and the Goal of the Decade title, and won the African Player of the Year award in 2017 and again in 2018, with his Liverpool teammate Sadio Mane taking the title in 2019.