The FC Barcelona Foundation’s agreement with Intervida means the club will be able to collaborate with an international specialist in children’s education, which will now manage the XICS (International Network of Solidarity Centres) in Senegal, Burkina Faso, Mali and Ecuador, countries where Intervida is already operating. The presentation was attended by the president of FC Barcelona, Sandro Rosell, the first vice president of the FC Barcelona Foundation, Ramon Pont, the director general of Intervida, Marcel Abbad, and the director general for Law and Legal Entities of the Generalitat de Catalunya, Santiago Ballester.
Sandro Rosell expressed the importance of Intervida to the club, because “it is an entity that will help us to develop our XICS … we are very grateful for their help because it means we can dedicate resources to other future projects”. Ramon Pont was also pleased with the agreement with Intervida, which he describes as “an organisation that works on charity actions around the world … this is the start of a long collaboration that will help us to grow”. Meanwhile, Santiago Ballester said that Tuesday’s announcement “is an agreement that has resulted from an understanding between two emblematic institutions”, and explained how the Generalitat is keen to promote actions like this. Marcel Abbad, director general of Intervida, underlined the importance of the fact that “the Barça Foundation and Intervida share the same values”.
In expert hands
The three-year agreement means that FC Barcelona will be working with a specialist in international cooperation in relation to education, which shall now be managing these centres that offer valuable training to boys and girls through sport, along with educational and psychosocial support.
The centres will continue to be called XICS, and are located in Las Cumbres de Portoviejo, in Ecuador; Richard Toll in Senegal; Bogodogo in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso; and the Téléphone Sans Fil district of Bamako in Mali. In total, 680 boys and girls living in these areas, which lack basic services, will be attending these centres and receiving informal education, school support, literacy classes and computer courses. The beneficiaries will also enjoy sporting and cultural activities, and will be provided with nourishment and medical monitoring.
Intervida works with children, and particularly education, which it considers to be the most useful tool for fighting poverty. It focuses its attention on ensuring free and compulsory access to schooling, and also improving education quality. Education gives children a new chance, because it provides them with the knowledge and skills, as well as the confidence and self-esteem, that they need to improve their present and future lives.
The collaboration agreement presented today between the FC Barcelona Foundation and Intervida is the just the first stage of a new understanding between the two organisations, which will be further developed in the future in relation to sport and values.
Other XICS centres
The other three XICS centres in the network are located in Morocco, Santa Coloma de Gramenet and El Carmel (Barcelona) and will continue to be run by the Foundation.