Barcelona, Spain, 14 April 2015: A high-level meeting has been held between Reach Out To Asia (ROTA) – a member of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF) – FC Barcelona and UNICEF to discuss the next phase of their ‘1 in 11’ campaign to extend educational opportunities to marginalised children in Bangladesh, Indonesia and Nepal.
Sport and education will merge as a catalyst to provide quality education and raise international and local awareness about their importance in every child’s life. ROTA’s prime role in the remarkable ‘1 in 11’ campaign supports Qatar Foundation’s mission to promote productive change and spread education through sports, thus enhancing social development.
Mr Essa Al-Mannai, Executive Director of Reach Out To Asia (ROTA), Mr Gerard Boquenet, Director of Private Partnerships and Fundraising at UNICEF, were welcomed in Barcelona by Mr Josep Maria Bartomeu, President of FC Barcelona ahead of their high-level meeting.
The Barcelona meeting followed the successful major Art Auction in London, UK, in February, which raised more than 3 million Euros for ‘1 in 11’ projects. The three entities gathered to discuss the unique global partnership and how to implement plans through the raised funds.
Mr Essa Al-Mannai, Executive Director of ROTA, said, "Sport is a common language among the world's youth. Education, we believe, is a common right. The Art Auction in London was just the beginning and so we are proud to see the money raised making a real impact through 1 in 11's powerful alliance of devoted partners.”
Currently one in 11 children, or 58 million out of 650 million children, do not have any access to education and are therefore not getting the start in life they deserve. The majority among the most disadvantaged and vulnerable are children living in areas affected by conflict; children in extreme poverty; children with disabilities; and children from indigenous communities.
To tackle this challenge, FCB Foundation, ROTA and UNICEF launched the ‘1 in 11’ partnership on 9 January 2015, in New York, US.
The outcome of ROTAs involvement in 1 in 11 is to capitalize on networks, expertise and capacity through QF and our range of influential local, regional and international partners, to deliver education programmes and raise funds and awareness to help ensure every child reaches their full potential.
After the successful London auction, the 1 in 11 partners are ready to start the implementation phase, commencing projects in three countries - Bangladesh, Indonesia and Nepal – where ROTA has significant experience and a strong knowledge base in increasing access to quality education for marginalized communities, specifically using sports and play as an enabling tool.
ROTA’s team of development professionals contributes expertise to all the 1 in 11 projects and is closely involved in the design, monitoring and evaluation of the 1 in 11 programmes.
Mr Josep Maria Bartomeu, President of FC Barcelona, said: “Our long term partnership with UNICF is one of the elements that makes our football club so unique, and we are very happy to strengthen this relationship through the 1 in 11 partnership that also brings ROTA on board, to be able to reach and help more children worldwide.”
In Bangladesh, funds will be used to help marginalised children achieve good learning outcomes. In Indonesia, a programme will support schools in six districts to include children with disabilities and promote life skills while promoting physical education and sport. In Nepal, a programme will focus on the positive impact sport can have as a key component of a child’s holistic development from the early grades through to secondary school.
FutbolNet, the FCB Foundation methodology that uses sport as a tool for individual and community development of children, will be a key element in these programmes, creating a unique link between sport and education.
Mr Gerard Boquenet, Director of Private Partnerships and Fundraising at UNICEF, said: “The world faces an enormous task in making sure that every child has access to quality education. This is why we are increasing the momentum, building on our strong alliance with the FC Barcelona Foundation to create the ‘1 in 11’ partnership with ROTA. The partnership will help to make sure that no child should ever be denied the opportunity to receive the quality education, which is their right.” ROTA, a member of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, is a Qatar-based NGO focusing on educational development in Qatar, Asia and the Middle East. For years, ROTA and its Qatar-based volunteer corps have been actively engaged in high impact education projects helping thousands of students and educators in Bangladesh, Indonesia and Nepal.