“Emotional” Drogba aims to give back to Ivory Coast all the “kindness” he got

Didier DrogbaAbidjan (Ivory Coast), Nov 28 : Chelsea striker Didier Drogba has set himself the task of constructing a 200 bedded hospital in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, which will provide treatment currently unavailable in the country.

Drogba is raising 2.5million pounds and has donated the fee from his sponsorship deal with Pepsi towards the construction, staffing and supplies of the new hospital.

A star-studded charity ball is also being held at the Dorchester Hotel in London on Saturday with the aim of raising 500,000 pounds for the project.

“I grew up two miles from here and I wanted to build a hospital here, where the people of my village can come and be treated. The people who live around here are really poor. I grew up in a shanty town and I want to say thanks for the kindness I was shown here and to prove that you can come from this sort of place and give something back,” The Sun quoted Drogba, as saying.

“I feel very emotional to be standing here and think of what it will become. I know it''s hard to imagine a hospital now, but I''m very excited about getting started on the build,” he added.

Drogba’s ambition of building a hospital was spurred after he witnessed the worst football disaster in the history of Ivory Coast, where 22 people lost their lives and 132 were injured during one of his games when a gate at the Felix Houphouet-Boigny Stadium collapsed under the pressure of a crowd surge.

The striker later discovered the shocking conditions of medical services in his country.

“People could not afford a taxi to get there and, if they did, they couldn''t afford to eat when they did get there. They cannot afford medicine and I was so overwhelmed when they asked me for help. I wanted to do something specific for kids,” Drogba said. (ANI)