Joan LaportaPresident of FC Barcelona Foundation, accompanied by Dr. Marta Sego, The Fundació General Director visited the projects carried out by the entity in the town of Arauca on the border with Venezuela, in which more than 500 Venezuelan refugee children, adolescents and internally displaced persons from Colombia participate. The purpose of these projects is to create safe environments that contribute to the development and process of social integration of these communities through sports.
These projects, run by the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, a priority partner of the FC Barcelona Foundation, and by the international NGO Save the Children, with support from Scotiabank, support Venezuelan refugee and internally displaced families. in Colombia. The FC Barcelona Foundation’s SportNet methodology will also be implemented in these projects, which allows, through sport, to improve the emotional and physical well-being of the participating boys and girls.
During the visit, the head of F.C.B And the Establishment, I was able to see how the SportNet activity was developed with the children and teachers of the two entities and the coaches of the Foundation. Likewise, he was able to speak with the families of the participants and representatives of UNHCR/UNHCR and Save the Children, who run projects in the area.
The program, in collaboration with UNHCR, began last October in five locations in the provinces of Arauca and Norte de Santander.
On the other hand, “Sport as a mechanism for change” is the project that is being developed in three cities, Arauca, Buenaventura and Tumaco, in three different departments, together with Save the Children and Scotiabank support.
Protective spaces for children at the borders
More than 2000 km of border between Colombia and Venezuela Every day they are crossed by thousands of people looking for a new hope of life in another country, although many of them settle close to the border. Likewise, in Arauca and its surroundings, where President Laporta is these days, Colombian families have also settled that they fled years of internal strife in the country.
Transiting through this region exposes these people to problems such as forced conscription, with an increase of 256% in the country (JEP 2021; migration, both internal and international, with more than 2 million people coming from Venezuela, 23% of whom are children and adolescents, and nearly Five million internally displaced persons, poverty (4 out of 10 people who arrive from Venezuela live in poverty), insecurity due to the presence of groups of armed forces, or the lack of some services for the refugee and displaced population are the other major problems in the region.
According to UNHCR figures, there are currently more than 2.5 million Venezuelan refugees in Colombia, and in 2021 more than 2,000 people cross the border daily.
Alliance FC Barcelona – UNHCR / UNHCR
This president’s trip Joan Laporta It is part of the commitment of the two entities to highlight the refugee problem in the world, which is one of the biggest problems today as there are at this moment more than 100 million refugees or displaced persons, a number that has increased especially due to the conflict in Ukraine.
In his meeting in Geneva with the High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, last June, Laporta promised to help him clarify this grave situation that millions and millions of people are currently living in around the world. A global problem to which solutions must be sought.
Statements by Joanne Laporta, President of FC Barcelona and the Foundation
“When we say that Barcelona is more than just a club, it is also because of things like this that the FC Barcelona Foundation does, being here today with these people, these children, adolescents, refugees and homeless people who are going through very difficult times in their lives. We contribute our small part to help Changing this situation, through the projects we’re doing with UNHCR and Save the Children, but we’re also trying to make their situation visible.”
“During my meeting in Geneva with the High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, I promised, as President of the FC Barcelona Foundation, to support him in initiatives like this and many others on which we work together, as well as in Turkey, Malaysia and Uganda. But it is a problem that millions of people suffer from. in many parts of the world.”
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