The visit of Juventus and UNESCO to witness the progress of their charity fundraising projects in Africa at first hand is officially underway, with the primary leg taking place over the next two days in Bangui, capital of the Central African Republic.
Upon arrival at Bangui International Airport, shortly after 16.30 local time, Juventus Legends president David Trezeguet and the visiting delegation, including UNESCO Assistant-Director General, Eric Falt, were treated to a warm welcome by the local authorities, many of whom marked the occasion by wearing special scarves featuring Trezeguet, Juventus and UNESCO.
The bonhomie was extended during an official evening reception in a nearby hotel where those visiting were told about the difficult situation facing the legions of children who are separated from their families after being recruited by armed groups during times of conflict.
This displacement and insecurity, coupled with the violence and malnutrition present in areas such as Boy-Rabe, where up to 10,000 are living on the streets without electricity or sanitation, add up to a bleak future for these youngsters.
The country’s National Education Minister, Elois Anguimate, said: “Desperation leads to desperate acts and it’s important the youth of the Central African Republic is given hope for the future.”
This hope remains alive through the work of UNESCO who have, with the support of Juventus’ funding, provided an arts and crafts training facility on the outskirts of Bangui city centre that aims to teach former child soldiers a working trade and support their peaceful reintegration into civil society.
Reiterating UNESCO’s desire to place affected youngsters back on the right track, Falt added: “Education, education, education is the route for everyone and we at UNESCO will do all we can to help the Central African Republic move along this path.”
Rounding off the speeches for the evening was Trezeguet, who concluded: “It is a real honour for me to be representing Juventus here in the Central African Republic. We will make the most of every minute of our stay and hope to continue our support for many years to come.”
The work undertaken by UNESCO, who have enjoyed a partnership with Juventus since 2014, will be seen by Trezeguet and Falt in person when they visit one of the organisation’s projects, the arts and crafts centre on the outskirts of Bangui city centre, as the next stop of their African mission.