Van den Herik: ‘We have always said that in Ghana we are not exclusively oriented to training football talents. That is why the children are with us on a fullboard basis until their 18th year and also get a school education. A school education they are given the opportunity to complete even if they drop out as footballers halfway through. But Feyenoord does not want to show its commitment to the community only by combining schooling, sport and medical care. We have also sought out ways to deploy this Feyenoord Academy and its students in social projects and so be an example to the young. If we make an inventory of the best opportunities to do just that we soon end up at the impartial worldwide organisation of the United Nations – Unicef – the children’s fund that offers structural and emergency aid without making any distinction based on race, faith, nationality or political persuasion. They visited our Academy in Ghana and were very impressed.’
Unicef’s Marketing and fundraising director Aloys van Rest expressed his delight at the hook-up. ‘More than ever before we understand that governments and Unicef need strong partners to realise their ambitious plans. In Feyenoord, Unicef has found just such a strong partner.’
At the start of the new football season Feyenoord will support the work Unicef undertakes during a 3-year period by organising several fundraising and media-covered activities. The following activities are planned, amongst others, during the coming football season: a gala dinner in aid of Unicef, a benefit match in aid of Unicef, a communication programme for the Feyenoord youth-members with the purpose of giving information about Unicef and a possible fieldtrip for the Feyenoord players.
During the first year Feyenoord guarantees proceeds of at least € 100.000. The money is intended for the Unicef project ‘Every Adolescent Has the Right to Know’ in Ghana. A worldwide Unicef programme aimed at informing about HIV / AIDS given by and for youngsters. Apart from giving financial support, Feyenoord will play a part in the execution of this project in Ghana. The facilities at the Feyenoord Fetteh Football Academy will for instance be available to the project and the students will also give information on AIDS.
Every Adolescent Has the Right to Know
A new worldwide Unicef AIDS-prevention programme especially directed at youngsters. Youngsters, so figures show us, are the most important high-risk group for AIDS-infection. One out of every two new infections strikes a youngster aged between 15 and 24 years old. An important cause is ignorance with regard to the nature of the disease, the symptoms, the risks and the possibilities for preventing infection.
Every Adolescent Has the Right to Know trains youngsters to offer persons of their own age the knowledge which can literally save their life. With the help of Feyenoord the information programme in Ghana will already start this summer.
The UN-Children’s summit takes place in New York this week. Heads of state and government leaders from throughout the world make agreements, under the supervision of Unicef, about how the circumstances in which children live can be improved drastically over the next ten years.
The battle against AIDS is one of the major agenda items during the top. Well over 40 million people from all over the world are infected with the HIV-virus, 70% of which live in Africa south of the Sahara.
The UN-Children’s Summit is also relevant for the co-operation between Unicef and Feyenoord for another reason. More than ever during this UN-top the realisation is paramount that governments and Unicef need powerful partners to be able to realise ambitious planning: companies, churches, private relief agencies, children themselves, artists, musicians and off course sports clubs. Unicef is bringing in one of these powerful partners with Feyenoord.