News and opinions
21 May 2013
Antonio M. Leal
The Realmadrid Foundation and Microsoft have signed a collaboration agreement to promote education in Latin America and the Caribbean through sports and technology. The signing ceremony, which was held at the Santiago Bernabeu’s president’s box, was attended by Florentino Perez, Orlando Ayala, senior vice president of Microsoft’s Emerging Markets Development Group; Maria Garaña, president of Microsoft Spain; and Enrique Sanchez, executive vice president of the Realmadrid Foundation. The Real president stated: “It’s an honour for Real Madrid and its Foundation to work hand in hand with one of the most important companies today, especially on the tenth anniversary of the Realmadrid Foundation’s presence in America. This is a partnership between leaders in technology and sport”.
Right after the signing the agreement Florentino Perez spoke about his pleasure with partnership and highlighted the work performed by the Realmadrid Foundation: “We believe in solidarity as a tool to build a more just world and to fight against inequalities. Solidarity is part of this club’s values and principles and that’s why it’s imperative to have companies like Microsoft. This is a leading company and a global benchmark that is very active in solidarity work. Its founder, Bill Gates, is a model in this field in terms of his commitment and generosity. It’s a philosophy that in many ways resembles the energy that drives Real Madrid and now we’re going to work together for a more just and cooperative world”.
The agreement will result in the joint development of five projects in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Mexico, in addition to funding and software donations. Microsoft will also provide YouthSpark resources for hundreds of millions of young people around the world. The partnership’s main objective is to promote the work of the Realmadrid Foundation by bringing together children and young people and technology so that these tools can be used to complete their schooling and increase their opportunities in the today’s world. With this new agreement Microsoft will provide software and content to the Foundation’s over 110 schools in America. Microsoft’s donation, valued at a million dollars, will go to social-athletic programmes that include athletic, social and vocational activities.
The Realmadrid Foundation develops its programmes and activities around five main areas: promotion of sports, sports training to develop values, social projects, international cooperation and institutional activities. Over 20,000 children in Latin American and the Caribbean are being taught values through social-athletic school football and basketball activities. Florentino Perez highlighted this work during the ceremony: “With some pride we can say that the Foundation successfully fulfils its role in over 300 social-athletic schools in 65 countries, although our goal is to reach more than 1,000”.
Maria Garaña, president of Microsoft Spain, spoke about the importance of the two institutions and the work being done in Latin America and the Caribbean: “This type of project can make a difference in people’s lives. Together, these two organizations can go far; technology and sports our part of young people’s DNA”. Orlando Ayala, senior vice president of Microsoft’s Emerging Markets Development Group, was also pleased with the agreement and explained its objectives: “Thank you so much for this opportunity. This agreement is focused on what these two institutions that have come together can do about an issue as urgent as enhancing the potential of young people worldwide”.