Bangui, Central African Republic - A joint delegation of UNESCO and the Juventus Football Club is visiting the Central African Republic this week to witness the progress of a project they have developed together to benefit the social rehabilitation of children affected by the crisis there since 2013.
Led by UNESCO Assistant Director-General Eric Falt and the President of Juventus Legends David Trézéguet, the delegation witnessed some of the work already accomplished in the first few months of the project with their partners of the Ecole des Métiers d'Art.
100 children were selected for the first round of training, which includes first and foremost literacy classes to make sure that they are equipped with basic reading and writing skills.They are then taught a range of professional skills, including leatherworks, welding, basket weaving and wood sculpting.
The group of children who were selected are former child soldiers or children who were otherwise affected in their physical or moral integrity.
Throughout the day, football star David Trézéguet was mobbed by the Central African youth, who chanted his name and waved posters bearing his portrait prepared for the occasion. He also had a chance to play football with the young beneficiaries of the project in the national stadium of Bangui and to score a goal to the delight of his fans.
"It is important for UNESCO to show solidarity with the children of Central Africa, to underline with them the importance of acquiring an education and to support the efforts of the Government in this regard", said Assistant Director-General Eric Falt.
"We are here with pride to support UNESCO in this undertaking and help take the children back to a normal life. We all think that education is important to achieve this result", underlined David Trézéguet.
The UNESCO-Juventus delegation will travel later this week to Mali, where they will launch a similar project.
The joint program is funded through the benefits generated last year during the UNESCO Cup, a gala football match between former players of Juventus Football Club and Real Madrid, including Zinedine Zidane, Pavel Nedved and Fabrizio Ravanelli.
The 2015 edition of the UNESCO Cup will be held on 8 September in the Juventus Stadium, with the proceeds intended to provide further support to the projects in Central Africa and Mali. This year's match will oppose the Juventus Legends to the Argentinian team of Boca Juniors.