Children ‘Take Control’ Of The Board Of Directors And Barça’s First Team
Today, on World Children’s Day, the boys and girls “have taken control” of Football Club Barcelona as directors and first team players. The Club and its Foundation have supported UNICEF’s international campaign #KidsTakeOver. The campaign, which went public today, aims to make children the protagonists so that their voice is heard in the name of all those children who live in poverty, who cannot go to school, and who are victims of violence.
At FC Barcelona, the children’s voices were heard in a special Board of Directors meeting headed by the President Josep Maria Bartomeu and the Vice President Jordi Cardoner. Specifically, the fifth-grade students from the primary school Brazil de Barcelona discussed important issues including fair play, the importance of women’s football and the inclusion of children with disabilities in sport with the maximum representatives of the Club.
The children were also the protagonists of the first team’s training session. To Ernesto Valverde’s surprise, the players were substituted for a few minutes by the children from the school Nou Patufet from Gràcia in Barcelona.
The children also took over at Barça TV and they spent the day being journalists for the Club’s official communication channel.
The UNICEF campaign #KidsTakeOver, in which the children take control of “high-powered positions” in the media, politics, business, sport and entertainment took place today all around the world. UNICEF were supported by FC Barcelona and by other big names including the Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau; the singer Pink; the actors Debora-lee Furness and Hugh Jackman; and the sportspeople David Villa, Pau Gasol, José Manuel Calderón, among others.
The World Children’s Day is celebrated on the 20 November to commemorate the day in 1989 when the Convention on the Rights of the Child was passed.
FC Barcelona and UNICEF
September 2016 marked the 10th anniversary of the first agreement between the FC Barcelona Foundation and UNICEF, a deal reached at the Headquarters of the United Nations, in New York, and which was a pioneering alliance between a sports club and the worldwide agency dedicated to helping children and providing humanitarian aid around the world. Since then, the two organisations have joined forces to benefit over one million children through their projects in seven countries and have made a tangible difference in the places where they have focused their efforts.
The collaboration between FC Barcelona and UNICEF stems from the belief that all children must receive a good quality education and have the opportunity to play sport.
The great social changes achieved thanks to the alliance
During these years, a substantial amount of work has been done to benefit over one million people. Between 2006 and 2010, the alliance focused its efforts on Swaziland, Malawi and Angola with the goal of helping raise awareness, prevent and detect HIV/AIDS.
From 2011 to the present day, the work has focused on South Africa, Ghana, Brazil and China and sport is used as a tool for education and development.
The joint projects have made a real difference as you can see below:
– Over 50,000 children have received a birth certificate in Swaziland.
– Over 44,000 young people have received sport equipment with the objective of helping prevent HIV/AIDS in Angola.
– Over 4,200 children with disabilities have taken up sport in Brazil.
– 14,600 children in rural China have received psychosocial support through sport.
– 261,000 children in Ghana have received sport equipment and this motivates them to go to school.
– 2,700 children take part in leadership workshops which is a key to helping the country’s peace process in South Africa.
Josep Maria Bartomeu, FC Barcelona’s president, said: “Today has been a new experience and we have learnt a lot of things from this Board meeting. Barça are very aware of the problems children face around the world who do not have their basic rights guaranteed.”
Adding to the sentiment, FC Barcelona star Lionel Messi, said: “My dream is for all the children in the world to have the right to live in comfortable and safe conditions with guaranteed healthcare and education.”
On 20 November help us spread our actions and opinions across social media with the hashtags #KidsTakeOver , #WorldChildrensDay and #KidsTakeOverSchools