In celebration of World Children’s Day this Monday, boys and girls today ‘took over’ FC Barcelona as directors and members of the first team. The initiative is part of the support from the club and its foundation for UNICEF’s #KidsTakeOver campaign. Made public today, the campaign aims to make children complete protagonists and make their views known – in the name of all of those young people who live in poverty, are unable to go to school or are the victims of violence.
FC Barcelona gave prominence to children in a special board meeting headed by president Josep Maria Bartomeu and vice-president Jordi Cardoner. Year 5 pupils from the Brasil school in Barcelona debated with the club representatives on some of the matters of interest to them, such as fair play, the visibility of women’s football and the inclusion of disabled children in sport.
The children also played a role in first team training. As a surprise for coach Ernesto Valverde, the regular squad were replaced for a few minutes by Year 5 pupils from the Nou Patufet school, from the Gràcia neighbourhood in Barcelona.
They also took the reins at Barça TV as journalists and stars of the club’s television channel.
UNICEF’s #KidsTakeOver campaign, in which children participate in ‘positions of high responsibility’ in media, politics, businesses, sport and entertainment, takes place today at the same time in different places around the world. Besides the support of FC Barcelona, also participating are names such as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, singer Pink, actors Debora-lee Furness and Hugh Jackman, and sports stars David Villa, Pau Gasol and José Manuel Calderón, amongst others.
World Children’s Day is celebrated today, in commemoration of the approval of the Convention for Children’s Rights on November 20th, 1989.
First team quotes
The FC Barcelona president and several first team players sent their best wishes for World Children’s Day:
Josep Maria Bartomeu: “Today had been a new experience for us, and we have learnt many things with this special board meeting. At Barça we are very sensitive to problems for boys and girls who do not have their basic rights guaranteed.”
Lionel Messi: “My dream is that all of the boys and girls of the world have the right to live in healthy and safe conditions, and are guaranteed cleanliness and education.”
Ivan Rakitic: “My dream is that all the children of the world can go to school and live in a safe environment.”
Jordi Alba: “My desire for every boy and girl is that they are always able to play.”
Nelson Semedo: “My dream is that all the boys and girls in the world have the same opportunities.”
André Gomes: “My dream is that every day be World Children’s Day.”
On November 20, help us to publicise your actions and opinions through social media, using the hashtags #KidsTakeOver, #WorldChildrensDay and #KidsTakeOverSchools