SPAIN: Salesian missionaries and Real Madrid Foundation celebrate 10 years of work
Salesian missionaries and Real Madrid Foundation celebrate 10 years of providing socio-sport education
(MissionNewswire) Salesian Father Eusebio Muñoz, the head of Salesian Missions in Madrid, Spain, and Emilio Butragueño, director of institutional relations for Real Madrid, a Spanish professional soccer club, recently celebrated the 10th anniversary of the alliance between the organizations. The collaboration has benefited more than 20,000 youth in Africa, Central and South America, and Europe over the past decade.
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 team work, communication, respect, and team spirit. The social-sports schools are housed in Salesian schools, and as part of the Real Madrid Foundation’s “They play, we educate” program, participants receive nutritional, family and psychological support, regular health checkups, the opportunity to participate in social and educational workshops, gymnastics, crafts and 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.
A ceremony, led by Julio González Ronco, administrative director of the Real Madrid Foundation, was held to mark the occasion. At the event Fr. Muñoz said, “The success of these 10 years of collaboration is due to two fundamental factors: the sharing of values, such as great commitment and teamwork; and the concern to help children and young people in very vulnerable situations through education and sport.”
Butragueño underscored his gratitude to Salesian Missions. “Even if there have been many patrons and supporters that we have had on our journey together in these 10 years, it is essential to have a solid foundation of education and care for the most vulnerable that Salesian Missions offers. You are our eyes and our hands on the pitch and you have always given great importance to sport in education.”
To celebrate the anniversary, both organizations have launched the “Change the rules” creative competition, which lasts for 10 weeks and involves 60,000 students from Salesian centers in Spain in three different categories.
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Salesian Missions – Spain