By Dailo Alli Alonso
BARCELONA, Spain, 11 May 2012 – In an event held yesterday at Camp Nou, the stadium of legendary football team FC Barcelona (FCB), the FC Barcelona Foundation and UNICEF reaffirmed their promise to work together to improve the lives of millions of children through sports and education.
|10 May 2012: UNICEF correspondent Priyanka Pruthi reports on Executive Director Anthony Lake announcing new programmes in partnership with FC Barcelona in Brazil, China, Ghana and South Africa that will benefit seven million children. Watch in RealPlayer|
FC Barcelona has partnered with UNICEF since 2006. Since then, the FC Barcelona Foundation has contributed €1.5 million per year to support UNICEF’s work on behalf of children around the world.
To celebrate this partnership, UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake, FC Barcelona Foundation Vice President Ramon Pont and FC Barcelona player Marc Bartra joined a friendly discussion with students from Pegaso Preschool and Primary School. The conversation was led by the students, who had prepared questions for Mr. Lake, Mr. Pont and Mr. Barta.
The children wanted to know many things. One student asked, "Why does FCB work with UNICEF?"
Mr. Pont explained that UNICEF's work for child development and child rights "fits exactly with what the club pursues through its foundation, and therefore we are aligned."
UNICEF recognizes the critical importance of sport and play, which contribute to children’s physical development and teach important values, including leadership, teamwork, fairness and respect for others. UNICEF promotes all children’s rights to play and learn, and FC Barcelona supports these efforts.
A world without UNICEF
Mr. Lake was asked how he imagines a world without UNICEF.
|© UNICEF Spain/2012/Prat|
|FC Barcelona player Marc Bartra, UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake and FCB Foundation Vice President Ramon Pont sit with a large group of schoolchildren in the city of Barcelona.|
First of all, Mr. Lake said, it would be terrific news if the world did not need UNICEF – it would mean that the rights of all children had been met.
But, he continued, it would be terrible if UNICEF did not exist in today’s world. He said that he has met many children who would not have received medical treatment, children who would not have gone to school, and children who would not have grown up healthy if not for the work of UNICEF.
Another child asked Mr. Bartra, "If you were not a FCB player, would you still support UNICEF?"
Mr. Bartra said that he would support UNICEF even if he was not a famous athlete. But, he said, being in the spotlight allows him to promote UNICEF’s work on a larger scale, noting that he believes “UNICEF is proud that a great club like ours carries its logo, and we are proud to wear it as well."
Mr. Lake responded, "All the UNICEF team is delighted with its partnership with FC Barcelona."
Through this alliance, FC Barcelona is supporting UNICEF's efforts to reach millions of children in 16,000 schools in Brazil, China, Ghana and South Africa. This collaboration is expected to train over 5,000 teachers and coaches and to integrate sport and sporting values into education programmes. Schools will also receive sports equipment and improved infrastructure for physical education, sport and play.