MOZAMBIQUE: Real Madrid Social-Sports School brings opportunities to students
Don Bosco Maputo offers Real Madrid Social-Sports School for more than 70 children
(MissionNewswire) Don Bosco Maputo offers a Real Madrid Social-Sports School in Mozambique‘s capital of Maputo. Salesian missionaries have been working in the country for over a century to help disadvantaged children by offering them an education. Through soccer and basketball, more than 70 children and adolescents learn values and improve their academic performance.
Don Bosco Maputo Social-Sport School is part of a collaborative initiative between the Salesian Missions Office in Madrid and the Real Madrid Foundation. The partnership began in 2010 in a Salesian school in Senegal and continued to schools in Central and South America. The first social-sports school was in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In 2012, social-sports schools opened in Portugal. Today, the collaboration has 21 projects in 14 countries and serves nearly 4,000 children each season, using educational sport and its values as a catalyst for the social betterment of youth and communities.
Both the Real Madrid Foundation and the Salesians are aware that sports are important for social integration and the promotion of values like teamwork, communication, respect and team spirit. The social-sports schools are housed in Salesian schools. As part of the Real Madrid Foundation’s “They play, we educate” program, participants receive nutrition, family and psychological support, regular health checkups, the opportunity to participate in social and educational workshops, gymnastics, crafts, reading, and citizenship activities. Training sessions on topics such as health, hygiene, values, and the prevention of alcohol, tobacco, and drug abuse are also provided.
For three days a week, the students at Don Bosco Maputo participate in training sessions. Mandatory lockdowns during the last school year as a result of the pandemic decreased sports activities and the number of participants. The project turned to the distribution of food, masks and protective devices as well as awareness-raising initiatives about COVID-19 to avoid infections.
Walter, age 13 and one of the participants in the soccer school, said, “Here we have fun, we learn a lot and make friends. When I grow up, I want to be a teacher. I know that what I’m learning will help me achieve this goal.”
The school year in Mozambique began in February. Participation limitations and health measures are still in place. To ensure safety, the school is enforcing the use of masks, requiring hand disinfection before entering the playground or any activity organized by the school, and taking the participants’ temperatures before they enter the sports complex.
Mozambique has made great strides in reducing poverty, according to the World Bank. But with nearly 50 percent of the population still living in poverty, progress has not been fast enough.
More than 70 percent of those living in poverty reside in rural areas and rely on farming and fishing to make a living. The vast majority of the rural population lives on less than $1.25 a day and lacks basic services such as access to safe water, health facilities and schools.
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Salesian Missions – Mozambique
World Bank – Mozambique