Joan Laporta visits FC Barcelona Foundation projects that support refugees and displaced people in Colombia


President of the FC Barcelona Foundation, Joan Laporta, and doctor Marta Segu, Director General of the Foundation, visited the city of Arauca on the border with Venezuela. The institution has ongoing projects involving more than 500 children and adolescents of Venezuelan refugees and displaced Colombians. These projects aim to use sport to create safe environments in order to promote the process of development and social integration of these communities.

These projects run by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, a priority partner of the FC Barcelona Foundation, support families of refugees and migrants and other families of displaced people in Colombia. These projects will also use the SportNet methodology designed by the FC Barcelona Foundation, with Save the Children and with the support of Scotiabank, and will enable participating children to improve their emotional and physical well-being through sport.

During the visit, the FCBarcelona and Foundation The President was able to see how the SportNet activity was implemented with the children and educators of the two entities, as well as with the educational staff of the Foundation. He was also able to speak with the families of the participants, as well as with representatives of ACNUR/UNHCR and Save the Children, who manage the projects in the region.

The project “Protective environments: guarantees and opportunities for the lives of boys and girls”, in association with UNHCR, began in 2019 in the municipalities of Arauquita, Saravena and Fortul, in the department of Arauca and in the municipality from Tarra and other areas in the north of Santander. It can be seen as a community and school enforcement process focused on child protection that encourages children to stay in school.

Meanwhile, “Sport as a Mechanism of Change” is the project that is carried out in three cities, Arauca, Buenaventura and Tumaco, in three different departments, in association with Save the Children and with the support of Scotiabank.

Difficult environment for children

Colombia is the country that has received the largest number of Venezuelans who have left their country in recent years. According to official figures, approximately 2.5 million refugees and migrants from Venezuela now live in Colombia, 24% of whom are young children and adolescents; border areas and major cities host the largest number of the population. Likewise, in the border department of Arauca, where President Laporta is these days, Colombian families have also settled who have fled the internal conflict that has troubled the country for years.

Illegal armed groups are present in this border area and its population is affected by the armed conflict, including internal displacement and other associated risks. Institutions and the population also face challenges in the care and protection of refugees and migrants from Venezuela, in a context of increased poverty and winter crisis.

In Arauca, according to official figures, more than 55,000 Venezuelans live in the department, and this year more than 10,000 people have suffered forced displacement.

Partnership FC Barcelona – ACNUR/UNHCR

This trip of the president Joan Laporta is part of both entities’ commitment to raising awareness of the issues facing refugees around the world. This is currently a major problem, as refugees or displaced persons number more than 100 million, a figure which has increased considerably due to the war in Ukraine.

During a meeting in June in Geneva with the High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, Laporta pledged to help him raise awareness of this serious situation that millions and millions of people around the world are currently experiencing. . A global problem to which solutions must be found.

Statement by Joan Laporta, President of FC Barcelona and of the Foundation

“When we say that Barça is more than a club, it is also because of things like this that the FC Barcelona Foundation does, being here today with these people, these children and adolescents, refugees and displaced persons, who are going through very difficult times in their lives.We are making our small contribution to help change this situation, through the projects we carry out with UNHCR and Save the Children, while trying to raise awareness of their situation.

“During my meeting in Geneva with the High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, as President of the FC Barcelona Foundation, I pledged to support him on this initiative and on many other initiatives on which we are also collaborating. in Turkey, Malaysia and Uganda. However, millions of people are experiencing this problem in many places around the world.”


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