Benin was the fourth African country to receive equipment from Angels at Bat with its first shipment in February 2021. Our Beninese equipment recipient has been immensely grateful and looks forward to a long term connection with Angels at Bat. This connection was only made possible by the willingness of Aina "Sunny" Oluwafemi (our primary connection in SW Nigeria) to bring equipment over to his neighboring country.
In January of 2021 we received a message from a Mr. Chitou Moubarakou requesting equipment. Chitou shared his experience with baseball with us and how he is implementing a strong program in is home country of Benin.
Mr. Moubarakou is the President and Coach of Privilege Baseball Association and the Secretary General of the Beninese Baseball / Softball Federation (F2BS). Chitou is a passionate baseball fanatic and has loved the game for some time. Chitou states that:
"From a young age I played basketball and I played in school teams and that of my city but my passion for baseball came during a humanitarian mission of an American NGO distributing medical glasses and eye consultation which I was one of the volunteers in this activity because I was working as a hospital administrator in a health center in my city where I was a contractual employee. One of the American missionaries was an amateur player in this sport which is baseball. I started by doing research and watched videos of baseball. I took diploma training to have the skills to coach the kids in my neighborhood. I received a state scholarship from the National Olympic and Sports Committee and I obtained my level one baseball coach diploma. Currently I am dedicated to training baseball in my community."
We have been connected with a shipping company based out of New York who has sent our equipment to Chitou in Benin.
Our connection in Nigeria and method of shipping there has truly developed into one of our strongest. This was incredibly important in getting Chitou equipment as Nigeria lies on Benin's eastern border.
We coordinated information between Mr. "Sunny" Oluwafemi of SW Nigeria and Mr. Moubarakou and were luckily able to make a significant shipment happen! Mr. Oluwfemi brought many bags of equipment into Benin via public transport and connected with Chitou in his hometown. Chitou hosted Sunny for multiple days, showing Sunny his hometown and the baseball program there.
It was during those days that we knew this would be a lasting connection! We look forward to a prosperous future of baseball with Mr. Chitou and Sunny.
Mr. Moubarakou and Mr. Oluwafemi shared many photos of receiving equipment and spending time together!