NEW YORK (May 10, 2012) — In an event at the stadium of the legendary soccer team, FC Barcelona, the FC Barcelona Foundation and UNICEF today renewed their promise to improve the lives of millions of children through sports and education.
75 school children, Ramon Pont, Vice President of the FC Barcelona Foundation, Anthony Lake, the Executive Director of UNICEF, and Marc Bartra, FC Barcelona player met to discuss the importance of sports in children's lives.
"FC Barcelona is highly committed to work with UNICEF to advance the global message of the importance of children’s issues and to promote education and sport," said Ramon Pont, Vice President of the FC Barcelona Foundation.
UNICEF recognizes the critical role of sports and physical play in children's lives. Participation in sports and play contributes to young people's physical development and can teach basic values and life skills, such as discipline, leadership, teamwork, fairness, and respect for others. Sports and play can also help fight discrimination and the exclusion of marginalized groups, including children with disabilities.
"The UNICEF team is delighted with its partnership with FC Barcelona. Through this partnership UNICEF and FC Barcelona are committed to provide millions of children the opportunity to receive an education and experience the happiness of sports, and learn positive values through physical education, sports and play," said Anthony Lake, UNICEF Executive Director, in his first visit to FCB headquarters.
Marc Bartra, together with Ramon Pont and Anthony Lake, responded to questions from school children from Barcelona. The children asked questions about UNICEF, children in other countries, soccer and about why FCB has partnered with UNICEF.
FCB contributes a total of 1.5 million euros per year to support UNICEF’s work with the goal of reaching millions of children in 16,000 schools in four countries: Brazil, China, Ghana and South Africa. More than 5,000 teachers and coaches will be trained, as sports and sports values will be integrated in school programs. Schools will also be provided with sports supplies and improved infrastructure for physical education, sports and play programs.
UNICEF has saved more children's lives than any other humanitarian organization in the world. Working in more than 150 countries, UNICEF provides children with health care, clean water, nutrition, education, emergency relief, and more. The U.S. Fund for UNICEF supports UNICEF's work through fundraising, advocacy, and education in the United States.
UNICEF is at the forefront of efforts to reduce child mortality worldwide. There has been substantial progress: the annual number of under-five deaths dropped from more than 12 million in 1990 to 7.6 million in 2010. But still, 21,000 children die each day from preventable causes. Our mission is to do whatever it takes to make that number zero by giving children the essentials for a safe and healthy childhood. For more information, visit www.unicefusa.org.
For additional information, please contact:
Andrea Sioris, U.S. Fund for UNICEF, 212.880.9136, firstname.lastname@example.org