In 2021, together with Fundación Atlético de Madrid, we launched the project “La Villa de los Soñadores” in Alcalá de Henares, Spain, with the goal to improve children’s learning opportunities and positively impact their physical, mental, emotional, and social growth through sports.
After the success of the project in Spain, we decided to expand and dream even bigger. We are now incredibly proud to announce the successful launch of the “Dreamers Village” project, through which we plan to positively impact the lives of children in multiple African countries in collaboration with our sponsored football clubs Inter Milan and Atlético de Madrid.
What is the Dreamers Village project about?
Building on, and inspired by, the successful model we employed in the Villa de los Soñadores football school in Spain, we joined forces with local partners in Morocco, Senegal, and Mauritius to provide a fun and educational experience for 180 local boys and girls between 9 and 14 years old. Twice each week, students will train in top local facilities under the guidance of expert coaches to enjoy football while developing physical, emotional, and mental skills in a safe environment. As they learn to play football, kids who participate in the Dreamers Village project will also take part in activities that will teach them important values like friendship, respect, and teamwork, and help them develop lifelong qualities like self-confidence and perseverance. Two knowledgeable coaches were hired in each of the schools to train and care for the children throughout the experience.
Just like for the original project in Spain, we invited children from areas and families with limited economic resources to participate, and their excitement for the project was clearly visible when they joined us for the opening events.
Opening events in Morocco, Senegal, and Mauritius
To officially launch the schools’ activities, in October and November we participated in the kickoff events in Rabat, Dakar, and Mauritius. We were joined by local leaders, valued partners, football clubs Inter Milan and Atlético de Madrid, the students, and their families to celebrate the start of the project. During the events, the walls of the three football facilities were decorated with mural paintings by local urban artists, and local music groups animated the day with rhythm, dances and activities specifically targeted to children.
Among the speakers at the event were Malick Seck, Managing Director Africa at Ria Money Transfer, José Cabral, VP Europe and Middle East at Ria Money Transfer, Sébastien Frey, former professional footballer at Inter Milan, Mustapha Orbaia, Vice President of the Youssoufia district council, Sofie Camara, Second Mayor of the municipal district of Parcelles Assainies, and Kalicharan Somaroo, President of District Council de Pamplemousses.
“With our participation in projects like these, Ria is consistently showing that we are involved in our communities’ wellbeing. Our customers and their families understand that we are a dedicated part of their community and their everyday life, and its shows in their participation in these latest events in Senegal, Morocco, and Mauritius,” Managing Director Africa Malick Seck commented. “It is a privilege to witness first-hand the impact that the Dreamers Village has on the lives of children and their families.”
Our Corporate Social Responsibility work
Two important beliefs guide the work that we do with our Corporate Social Responsibility partners around the world. One is that every child deserves the opportunity to learn and grow up in a safe and supportive environment, no matter where they are from. The other is that sport naturally creates a strong bond and a sense of camaraderie that transcends cultural and linguistic differences as teams strive to achieve a shared goal.
These core convictions have found a common outlet in the opening of the three new football schools across the African continent. Keep following our blog and social media channels for more updates on the CSR projects we are sponsoring and running across the world.
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