Turkey has sent Afghan boy Murtaza Ahmadi, known for his viral photo wearing a plastic bag as a replica Leo Messi shirt, a "Peace Ball Gift Pack".
A professor's campaign in Fırat University, which is named "Peace Ball Project" aiming at sending children play balls, this time rejoiced five-year-old Ahmadi whose photos sparked a social media campaign. Football star Leo Messi has recently met the child in Barcelona after he sent him his signed shirt.
Murtaza Ahmadi, living in the eastern Gazni province of Afghanistan, received his surprise present through a teacher serving within the Turkish International Cooperation and Development Agency.
Coordinator of the project Prof Sebahattin Devecioğlu called on others to support the project, "hoping that wars across the world end and peace is assured".
The present aimed at encouraging Ahmadi for playing football and do sports, he said.
Project to promote "peace and fraternity" via sports
The main target of the "Peace Ball Project" is to emphasize that sports are a common value for all humanity, regardless of race, religion and language. Thus, it seeks to promote "Peace, Friendship and Fraternity" he explained.
The project also reminds the status of the child recognized by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child:
Article 31 (Leisure, play and culture): Children have the right to relax and play, and to join in a wide range of cultural, artistic and other recreational activities.
Article 32 (Child labour): The government should protect children from work that is dangerous or might harm their health or their education. While the Convention protects children from harmful and exploitative work, there is nothing in it that prohibits parents from expecting their children to help out at home in ways that are safe and appropriate to their age. If children help out in a family farm or business, the tasks they do be safe and suited to their level of development and comply with national labour laws. Children's work should not jeopardize any of their other rights, including the right to education, or the right to relaxation and play.
- Murtaza playing with his "peace ball"
- Murtaza receiving his present