Friday September 2nd, 2016

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Children growing up in Cite Soleil, Haiti, face a challenging economic and sociological environment. Empower2Play is hoping that American football can provide some diversion and relief for the youth in the city.

Empower2Play will be hosting a 10-day sports diplomacy event in Cite Soleil, one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the world. This event will be hosted with the U.S. Embassy and will be focusing on using American Football to gets kids active and expand knowledge of the game in an area unfamiliar with it.

And for people who can’t attend, Empower2Play will live-stream a Virtual Reality broadcast of the event worldwide. AK Ikwuakor, the company’s founder and a former All-America spinter at Oregon, talked to us about his company’s philanthropic mission.

Empower2Play is a non-profit based in Boston that strives to find the next generation of leaders and expand relations of cultures through the power of sports. Empower2Play works to develop a global family one sport at a with the focus of creating youth leadership that will positively impact future generations.

The event in Haiti, which begins Sept. 10, will help kids learn the fundamentals of American football and give them the chance to play the game and get active in their community. Three hundred local youth and 100 volunteers involved from all parts of the world will help make the event happen.

Livit Now is partnering with Empower2Play to broadcast the live-stream. Empower2Play will be using a 360-degree camera to provide the feed for the event and Livit Now has the proper technology to make the live VR stream possible.

The collaboration between Livit Now and Empower2Play is an opportunity to allow the world to see a part of Haiti that is not often covered by the media. “Our mission is to show sides of the world most people are unable to see.,” Ikwuakor said. “With Virtual REality, the world will finally get that chance.”

Ikwuakor also acknowledged that it is not an easy process to attend the event due to its location, which was the driving force behind getting VR technology involved with the viewing. “What makes us stand out is that we are doing VR [virtual reality] in a place that’s inaccessible,” stated Ikwuakor.

Ikwuakor is a big supporter of the VR technology. “Virtual Reality is not only changing sports, it’s changing the way people do corporate sponsorships, partnerships, it’s changing everything,” he said. “With VR , people from all over the world can now see your brand.” 

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