Newcastle United and Ghana winger Christian Atsu has received the honour of a citation from the Crime Check Foundation (CCF) for his humanitarian efforts.
With the help of Atsu’s funding, the CCF (a prison non-governmental organisation) has paid for the release of 53 petty offenders who were jailed due t an inability to meet for their court fines in Ghana.
Ibrahim Oppong Kwarteng, the executive director of CCF, said the following in regards to Atsu: "This is in honour and acknowledgement of your contributions to the release of fifty-three petty offenders in Ghana's prisons."
The citation continued, "You have not only paid court fines of poor and voiceless petty offenders but also advocate reforms in Ghana's criminal justice system.
"You have gone a step further to ensure that inmates who are released have financial support to enable them to reintegrate successfully into society.
Kwarteng added, "By your commitment to supporting poor and voiceless prisoners and ex-convicts, you have demonstrated to the world, the need to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor through the power of sports."
In receiving the honour, Atsu pledged to further support those released from jail.
“There is the need to support them to prevent the situation, where they go back to re-offend society because of poverty,” the Black Stars player said.
He also commended management and staff of the CCF for its crime prevention campaign and its support for prisoners in Ghana.