West Bromwich Albion striker Saido Berahino to launch charity foundation
West Brom striker Saido Berahino has announced plans for a charity foundation to help disadvantaged people in Britain and abroad.
The 21-year-old, who has often been at the centre of off-field controversy, has also become an ambassador for WaterAid.
The Saido Berahino Foundation will be launched at a gala benefit in London next week with the aim of raising funds for charitable work both at home and overseas.
The foundation will assist WaterAid in raising money to give vulnerable and disadvantaged people better access to clean water and sanitation.
The cause is close to Berahino's heart after he fled his native Burundi at the age of 10 to escape the civil war that claimed the life of his father.
Berahino said: "This is a proud day for me and my family.
"Having grown up in Burundi, I know only too well the devastating impact the lack of access to clean water or sanitation can have on families.
"It is fundamental to everything and prevents people from lifting themselves out of poverty.
"I'm determined to give something back through the work of my foundation and WaterAid."
Berahino signed for Albion's academy at the age of 12 and in the last two seasons has become a key figure for both the Baggies and England Under-21s.
Initially Berahino's foundation WaterAid with various projects but he hopes that experience will teach him how to do the same back in his native Burundi through the foundation.
He also wants to help fund projects in Britain and has already made a start with long-term backing for a children's charity based in Coventry.
Albion head coach Tony Pulis said: "This is a wonderful initiative by Saido and I applaud him for it.
"His story is an inspiring one and this shows what I have been saying for several months now about his attitude and his growing maturity.
"It's not easy growing up in the glare of the public eye and we all know he has had his difficulties. But he's been a great professional for me and I've got nothing but praise for him."
Berahino has been pictured in national newspapers using a 'legal high' and admitted drink driving earlier this season, but his improved attitude has been praised by Pulis in recent months.
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