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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old October 23rd, 2007, 00:57 Thread Starter
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FC Barcelona in Africa

I'm not sure which thread to post this stuff in so I'll leave it up to the FMs to decide.

Joan Laporta to travel to Senegal


The Barça president will travel on Wednesday to Senegal in order to inaugurate an integral support centre for children, part of the FC Barcelona Foundation’s “XICS” programme.

The Fundación FC Barcelona has undertaken, with the support of the Senegalese ‘ASBEF' organisation, the Catalan “Barcelona Sida 2002” and the Richard Toll council, a project to create a solidarity centre for education and sport in Senegal as part of its XICS programme (International Network of Solidarity Centres).

What is the centre like?

The centre was designed by the Foundation with the collaboration of a local architect and in located in the north Senegalese municipality of Richard Toll. The 2 hectare site provided by the Council includes 450 metres of constructed area that will be used for classrooms, training rooms, a medical surgery, a dining room and a library. It also has a sports pavilion and a football pitch.

The centre will provide education, and health, nutritional and psychosocial care to vulnerable boys and girls aged between 6 and 16 years. This solidarity action will help reduce the risk of social exclusion that these youngsters face, with particular focus being centred on young girls.

New hope for Senegal

An FC Barcelona delegation will fly next Wednesday at midday to the African country, and will be made up of the leaders of the Fundación FC Barcelona international projects department as well as club president Joan Laporta, and vice president Alfons Godall. A team of reporters will also be travelling to give the visit the coverage it deserves.

This is a long awaited trip as it is the first XICS project to have been developed entirely by the club. The idea is to create an international network of solidarity centres using sport as the means to offer new opportunities and to guarantee such basic rights as education, health and free time to children in precarious situations. As well as the project in Senegal, the Foundation is also working on projects in Morocco, Brazil (through Edmilson’s foundartion) and Cameroon (through Eto’o’s foundartion).

The city of Richard’s garden

The Senegalese city of Richard Toll lies in the northeast of Senegal, close to the Mauritanian border. It is named after M. Richard, a French market gardener who established a farm in the area in the early 19th century. The word “toll” was added to his surname, which in the Wolof language, one of the most widely spoken in Senegal, means ‘garden’. Richard Toll is the largest producer of sugar can in the area, and is part of the region of Saint-Louis some 360 kilometres from the national capital, Dakar. The city is home to some 150,000 people.

In Senegal, and especially in the north, there are children known as “talibs”, who beg in the street and live in dreadful conditions, with very limited education and only very basic health care. FC Barcelona’s XICS programme will be making a priority of these children.

Some older info about Eto'o's foundation:

Fundació Samuel Eto'o

Collaboration agreement between Fundació FC Barcelona - Fundació Samuel Eto'o

The two foundations have signed a collaboration agreement by which they will work together for the benefit of the most vulnerable children in Cameroon, in particular, and Africa in general, where so many young people are at risk of social exclusion. In this sense, the two parties have agreed to actively collaborate in the implementation of an integral programme that will use sport, football and, especially, support in the form of education, health care and psychosocial care to children at risk, especially in the most deprived parts of Cameroon. The Fundació FC Barcelona is committed to providing institutional, financial, media and logistic support that can help make the projects being carried out by the Fundació Samuel Eto'o in Africa a reality..

The agreement was signed in person by President Joan Laporta and the player, Samuel Eto'o, in the president’s office. Laporta said he hoped that "this will be the starting signal for many more agreements.” Samuel Eto'o, meanwhile, was very grateful for the club’s collaboration because “we can make millions of boys and girls happy” before adding that “FC Barcelona is a club with a huge heart ".

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old October 23rd, 2007, 01:46
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Very nice post. Now let's hope that FCB supports also African football by releasing without problems their African players to CAN 2008.

"The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old October 31st, 2007, 02:10 Thread Starter
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Enthusiastic welcome for Barça in Senegal


The Barça delegation in Senegal, led by Joan Laporta, had a busy morning of visits in the town of Richard Toll. The excitement generated by the presence of the Club president was spectacular.

After the dinner on Wednesday evening with Senegal’s Interior Minister, Ousmane Ngom, the representatives of FC Barcelona took off from Dakar airport at 8.30 am on route to Richard Toll, the town in the north of Senegal that has been chosen as the site for the Foundation’s first solidarity centre in the XICS programme.

Tumultuous reception

After a flight lasting one hour, the party landed at Richard Toll airport where they greeted by the mayor, Abibou Dieye, and other municipal representatives. A group of about thirty children was also on hand to welcome the Barça representatives with banners and cries of “Barça, Barça, Barça”. The youngsters read out a short message of welcome accompanied by enthusiastic applause.

Joan Laporta then visited the Town Hall where he was received with full honours. After the official reception, the party was shown around three Daares, or Koranic schools, for orphans and other underprivileged children. Joan Laporta, Alfons Godall and Marta Segú wore the local costume–called ‘Bubu'- by express wish of the local authorities, who consider it as a sign of respect for the local population. This is a courtesy adopted by all visiting dignitaries.

The conditions of the children that live in these schools, aged between 6 and 16, are dramatic. They do not attend school and are forced to beg in the streets. In return they receive inadequate board and lodging and are taught the Koran. 50% of the children that will benefit from the new centre will be from this group.

The soul of the Club in Senegal

A visibly moved Joan Laporta told the local authorities: “We are very grateful to you for giving us the chance to show our heart and our soul. This is a very special day for our Club”. After the visit to the Daares, the party moved on to the town’s Sexual Health Centre before lunch in a local hotel.

Marta Segú, the Foundation’s Director of International Projects, gave a positive evaluation of the work done and indicated: “The Foundation is the nexus that has brought agreement between the local authorities, the religious leaders and the whole community of Richard Toll in order to improve the life of these children”.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old October 31st, 2007, 02:11 Thread Starter
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Richard Toll support centre opens


There were nearly 3,000 children present for the opening of the new support centre in Richard Toll in Senegal and, through the club's Foundation, spread a smile across the faces of everyone.

President Joan Laporta unveiled the plaque to commemorate the opening of the support centre in the town, upon which was written XICS (Network of International Support Centres), which was founded by the FC Barcelon Foundation.

The huge number of people who gathered to witness the even showed just how big the news was that the centre was opening and Laporta was delighted withthe reception that he has received. "Meeting the children was really great," he said. "They have made us feel Senegalese."

Help for over 250 children

The centre will provide education, medical and psychological support to around 250 children during its first three years. Almost 40 per cent of those that are members of the centre will be children in extreme difficulties who live in a precarious sitation in the Koranic schols in the country. The other children from Richard Toll who are at risk from social exclusion will be inscribed with special attention being given to girls.

800 square meters

The community centre covers 800 square metres and has two classrooms, a library, two workshops, a kitchen and two sanitary areas.

Fun and games

After the official opening of the support centre, several football games took place on the pitches next to the building. The teams were made up from youngsters in the area. All the players wore official Barça kit donated by the Foundation and Joan Laporta even kicked one of the games off in honour of the occasion.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old October 31st, 2007, 02:16 Thread Starter
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Some stuff from a few days ago prior to the Senegal trip:

Work meeting to discuss Swaziland project


The Unicef delegate for Swaziland, Jama Goulaid, has visited president Joan Laporta to view a photographic exhibition in the Camp Nou that shows what the two organisations are doing to help the African country.

A work meeting was held on the Camp Nou facilities this morning to discuss the project being carried out by the FC Barcelona Foundation in association with Unicef in Swaziland. Jama Goulaid, the UN agency’s delegate for Swaziland attended the meeting and also accompanied Joan Laporta on a visit to the photographic exhibition titled “The impact of HIV/AIDS: life and hope for the orphans of Swaziland’.

They were joined by Clàudia Vives-Fierro, club director and a patron of the Foundation. The display, the work of photographer Pep Bonet, reflects the everyday lives of the orphaned children living in rural parts of this country in the south of Africa and illustrates the progress made by the Foundation and Unicef’s programmes to provide aid to the region.
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