NEWS | 01/09/2021Football and basketball boost school attendance, professional training and education in values.
The Real Madrid Foundation has strengthened its goal of promoting the integral development of children and teenagers in Africa, in spite of the pandemic, encouraging them to attend school and receive vocational training, lowering drop-out rates and promoting education in the values of peace and solidarity through sport. By doing so, the programme helps to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN's 2030 Agenda. The support of the Rivers State Government in Nigeria, as well as the efforts of local NGOs and the Foundation's partners on the ground, are key to this project's continuity.
The pandemic in Africa
The pandemic has had a vastly differing impact on the continent's various countries. Sub-Saharan Africa has generally seen lower rates, with some exceptions, and the Foundation's schools have been able to adapt to the specific situations. Meanwhile, in northern Africa, countries such as Morocco and Egypt have been more heavily affected, leading to suspensions of activity due to healthcare restrictions at times. Despite this, the network of social sports schools has continued to function, increasing monitoring, online supervision and promoting the digitalisation of the coach-educators tuition.
In this sense, the Luena project (Angola), in collaboration with Manos Unidas, has been a pioneer in online training, despite the difficulties presented by internet access in the country. Another example is the adapted school in Hanan, Tétouan, which has also opted for online courses this season, carrying out hugely important awareness-raising work throughout Morocco.
Another notable element is the continued alliance with Salesian Missions, which is now in its tenth year and runs 15 projects in 11 African countries. Beyond the football and basketball through values sessions, these schools also provide nutritional and school support, scholarships, healthcare and psychological assistance, as well as other cultural and recreational activities. Likewise, the expansion of the basketball programs has been vitally important as a tool for empowering girls and aiding their participation in sport and society, alongside the crucial humanitarian aid programs run through The Missionaries of Africa White Fathers, in Burundi, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.