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A Foundation par excellence

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There is always a reason behind why many things happen, be it good or bad. Whatever we get, success, failure or injury is decided by Him. But what we give back is our choice; our choice to be a better human being, a better person. Be it a person feeding a stray dog or a fireman rescuing a bird entangled in a wire, all of them are showing a quality of humanity in some form or another.

One of the main reasons I have fallen in love with FC Barcelona is not only because of its beautiful pure passing style, but also its contribution to society. The motto Més que un club (More than a Club), is not just written, every word of it is implemented.

Futbol Club Barcelona’s world famous training academy, La Masia, where many talented youngsters have been brought up, gives its first priority to education and then football.

The FC Barcelona Foundation, started in 1994, uses sport as its medium to spread the values of education, harmony and growth.

As it is widely known, The FC Barcelona team sported the UNICEF logo at the front of its jersey since 2006. This agreement provided for the donation of 1.5 million Euros per year to UNICEF in a project to fight against AIDS. In 2011, the agreement was renewed for 5 more years. For this FC Barcelona Foundation would continue to donate 1.5 million Euros per year to implement together projects based on promoting education through sports and include the UNICEF logo at the back of the jersey.

The FCB Foundation and UNESCO initiated their understanding in November 2007 to fight racism and violence in sport. Many awareness campaigns have been developed, with the participation of FC Barcelona players. On 21st March 2011, ‘Put Racism Offside’ was launched starring Messi, Pique and Keita.

Using the club’s motto ‘More than a Club’ as a reference point, FCB Foundation formed an Alliance with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to help eradicate polio - "More than a goal: End Polio".

A few of the campaigns and awareness programs launched by the club are:

Partnership for sport and development - A partnership with the Inter American Development Bank(IDB)

A project launched in Rio De Janeiro to strengthen 18 Olympic villages by promoting social inclusions through sport activities.

Football for youth development and a healthy life – Alliance with Pies Descalzos Foundation.

A project which includes construction of sporting and recreational areas in Cartagena (Colombia) and Miami (United States).

Fair Football

It is a program which seeks to promote human and Social Development in Catalan City areas.

XICS - International Network of Solidarity Centers.

Some centers promoted by the FC Barcelona Foundation to provide educational enhancement, psychosocial support and access to sport. It is a reinforcement of the formal educational system where beneficiaries, can do their homework, resolve doubts and also attend talks on sensitivity to healthy habits and practicing different sports with the aim of encouraging social cohesion.

We are what we do...

It is a project set up to encourage healthy habits and behaviors. "We are what we do, we are what we eat" is the first campaign where the first team players are used as an example to raise awareness of health eating and exercise.

Enviem la fam a la porra (Let’s send hunger packing)– A Collaboration with the Food Bank Foundation

The FC Barcelona Foundation and the Food Bank Foundation work together to alleviate food deprivation in Catalonia.

Not only has the club participated in social events, but also the players who have been brought up with these values are playing their role towards the betterment of society.

Lionel Messi who is now arguably considered the best player in the world has started the Leo Messi Foundation. It helps children in achieving their goals and makes their dreams come true. He wants to reduce the hardship which he faced while growing up. He is also the UNICEF goodwill ambassador.

Cesc Fabregas is an ambassador for the well-known international ONG SOS Children’s Villages since 16th May 2009. It is an international non-profit child support organization. Its aim is to provide children under their care with basic facilities like education and a family like environment which would assist them in building a bright future. It has its presence in 132 countries and currently cares for more than 450,000 children and young people around the world.

Today, Technology and Medicine have advanced to a level that minor diseases which were considered a threat maybe a decade ago have been nearly eradicated. As Bill Gates rightly said, "Humanities greatest advances are not in its discoveries, But in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequities."

Many of us are fortunate enough to have the basic necessities in life. Humanity needs not be expressed only in monitory terms. It comes from within. One could lend a helping hand to a person in an accident or even water a plant so that it does not wither. It is not a compulsion to give. But it is a way to thank God for the life and love he has bestowed upon us.

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