Real Madrid Foundation

© 2016 UNRWA Photo by Alaa Ghosheh
© 2016 UNRWA Photo by Alaa Ghosheh

The Real Madrid Foundation encourages sports among marginalized children and youth as an educational tool and as a means of social integration. Using the power of its brand and its team members, the Foundation brings unmatched enthusiasm and important lessons to Palestine refugee students participating in its programmes.

In 2011, then-UNRWA-Commissioner-General Filippo Grandi and Real Madrid President Florentino Perez signed a partnership agreement in the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium committing to support the well-being of Palestine refugee children. Since then, the Real Madrid Foundation continues to support refugee children attending UNRWA schools in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

Through this partnership, Real Madrid provides trainers and sports equipment to children in the occupied Palestinian territory to enable them to play and follow their dreams.

On several occasions, Real Madrid Foundation staff have travelled to the Gaza Strip and the West Bank to train UNRWA teachers to become football coaches. The teachers’ new knowledge is then put into practice during the academic year through an entire course of social and sporting activities.

The programme is committed to gender equality and, as a result, many refugee girls have fulfilled their dream of playing football like football stars. Although some parents were initially reluctant for their daughters to participate due to concerns that sports were unsuitable for women, the girls were able to enjoy training with the equipment provided by the Real Madrid Foundation. Changing the society’s mind set about women and football is not easy, but the programme is taking small steps forward. Coaches put a great deal of enthusiasm into each session, making up for any lack of experience and teaching their students passion for football and the values related to the sport.

Read more about a recent trip by the Real Madrid Foundation to Gaza and the West Bank