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Legendary Barcelona FC and UNICEF strengthen partnership for children in four countries

2012-05-10

Brazil, China, Ghana and South Africa are benefiting through sport and education programmes

Barcelona, 10 May 2012 – In an event at the stadium of the legendary football team, Barcelona FC, the FC Barcelona Foundation and UNICEF today powered up their promise to improve the lives of millions of children through sport and education.
                                                   
75 schoolchildren, 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 sport 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 sport and physical play in children’s lives. Participation by young people in sport and play contributes to their physical development and can teach basic values and life skills, such as discipline, leadership, teamwork, fairness and respect for others. Sport and play can also help fight discrimination and the exclusion of marginalized groups, including children with disabilities.

“All 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, sport 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, football and about why is FCB partnering with UNICEF.

FCB contributes a total of Euro 1.5 million per year (approximately $2 million CA) to support UNICEF’s work with the aim to reach millions of children in 16,000 schools in four countries: Brazil, China, Ghana and South Africa. Over 5,000 teachers and coaches are planned to be trained, and sport and sport values will be integrated in school programmes. Schools will also be provided with sports supplies and improved infrastructure for physical education, sport and play programmes.

Learn more on Twitter with the hashtags #fcblive and #goal4UNICEF.

About UNICEF

UNICEF is the world's leading child-focused humanitarian and development agency. Through innovative programs and advocacy work, UNICEF saves children's lives and secure their rights in virtually every country. UNICEF’s global reach, unparalleled influence on policymakers, and diverse partnerships make it an instrumental force in shaping a world in which no child dies of a preventable cause. UNICEF is entirely supported by voluntary donations and helps all children, regardless of race, religion or politics. For more information about UNICEF, please visit unicef.ca or join us on Twitter (@UNICEFCanada) and Facebook (facebook.com/unicef-canada).

About UNICEF

UNICEF has saved more children's lives than any other humanitarian organization. We work tirelessly to help children and their families, doing whatever it takes to ensure children survive. We provide children with healthcare and immunization, clean water, nutrition and food security, education, emergency relief and more.

UNICEF is supported entirely by voluntary donations and helps children regardless of race, religion or politics. As part of the UN, we are active in over 190 countries - more than any other organization. Our determination and our reach are unparalleled. Because nowhere is too far to go to help a child survive. For more information about UNICEF, please visit www.unicef.ca.

For further information:

Stefanie Carmichael, Communications Specialist, (416) 482-6552 ext. 8866; Cell: (647) 500-4230, scarmichael@unicef.ca.
Todd Minerson, Director, Communications and Brand, (416) 482-6552 ext. 8892; Cell: (647) 308-4806, tminerson@unicef.ca