The FC Barcelona Foundation’s trip to Israel began on Monday morning with a visit to the Dana Hospital for Children, one of Tel-Aviv’s most important hospitals. The club delegation, made up of FC Barcelona’s first vice-president Jordi Cardoner, executive director of the Foundation Nacho Mestre, and the Foundation’s director general Mària Vallés, visited this reference point which serves Israeli and Palestinian children as well as kids from neighbouring countries.
Later, the Barça delegation moved 50 kilometres east of Tel Aviv to the town of Kiryat Yearim where they were welcomed to the Youth Village. These centres depend on the Ministry of Education and serve as a residence for young people between 12 and 18 years old belonging to broken families. This type of facility is spread all over the country and was created to accommodate children from diverse cultures and backgrounds. At present, the Youth Village of Kiryat Yearim serves 100 young people where they are offered schooling and psychosocial support, as well as other leisure activities for their future integration into society.
In the afternoon, the team visited the city of Lod, one of the most multicultural in the country. There they were received by the Israel Association of Community Center, a network of 750 spaces that offers educational and leisure activities to the local and immigrant population. It is a project that aims to create a climate of coexistence that favors the social integration of people, regardless of their cultural background and religion. Considered as the most important community support network in the country, it was created in the 1960s and currently offers adults and children, among other activities, school support and workshops on digital literacy, music, dance, and sports.
With these meetings, the Foundation is succeeding in building bridges with social organisations in the country that will help in the future to transfer social projects to the area and establish dialogue and to make sport, and football in particular, a tool for the peaceful resolution of conflicts and the promotion of harmony, especially among children and young people. These are some of the most important axes of action for the strategic plan of the FCB Foundation.
The singer Noa also met with the Foundation's delegation on Monday. The Israeli artist was keen to learn of the Foundation’s programmes first hand and to find synergies for possible future collaborations.
The Foundation's visit to Israel has also generated significant media excitement. Jordi Cardoner gave two interviews to two of the country's most followed stations; the newspaper Yedioth Ahronot and Channel 10.
STATEMENTS FROM NOA:
“I have been in contact with Barça for years and I know that it shares the same values with the FCB Foundation. Sport has a very important power in how people perceive each other and make them appear as human beings; happy, competitive, passionate. They are emotions that can be seen and can make us improve. This I think is the great power that sports, music and the arts have.”