Keita Baldé arranged accommodation for 200 Senegalese workers who lost their jobs in hotels and restaurants in Spain when the Covid-19 pandemic hit.
Baldé found out about the plight of the workers, who had travelled to the northeast region of Lleida to take seasonal fruit-picking jobs but had nowhere to stay. He paid for 80 of them to sleep in two hotels in Lleida and, with local hotels unwilling to accommodate more, he helped arrange for 120 to spend the night in a municipal pavilion.
Baldé, the son of Senegalese parents, was born and raised in Catalonia, near Lleida. He now plays for Monaco, and Senegal’s national team. He found out about the homeless workers in a video. “I don't cry very often in my life but this time I shed some tears,” Baldé, 25, said. “It was then I decided to take action personally, to help them and solve the problem.”
“They work so hard in the day and have nowhere to sleep so I wanted to help my people, I do that with my heart.”