What in the World?
What in the World returns for a new series looking at global poverty and human rights violations.
Programme one looks at Soccer Slaves - up to 20,000 young footballers have been trafficked out of Africa, left to fend for themselves on the streets of European cities.
Alone and abandoned, Malian Issa Kone sat in a McDonalds in Paris with 20 in his pocket. He was only sixteen years of age and he had just arrived in France. He waited hour after hour for the return of his agent who had promised him a football contract and in the process wheedled 5,000 from his impoverished parents in Bamako. The agent never returned. Issas story is not unusual. Up to 20,000 young footballers have been trafficked out of Africa, left to fend for themselves on the streets of European cities.
The What in the World team film in Paris and Yaounde, the capital city of Cameroon to investigate the scale of this modern slave trade. Among the people we meet is legendary Cameroonian footballer Roger Milla.
The mother named him Michael and we filmed his arrival into the world. Life for the very young in Uganda is precarious. One in nineteen children die before they reach the age of five in Uganda. But an initiative by Irish and US governments is trying to turn that round. The first 1,000 days is all about improving the health and nutrition of children and their mothers. In central Uganda, where one time war lord Joseph Kony held sway, the results are encouraging. Less so in the Karamoja region to the east. How Michael will far in life will be a test of the 1,000 day initiative.