At Ria, our focus has always been on supporting local communities and helping people fulfil their potential and achieve their dreams. The La Villa de los Soñadores project was born from this mindset. The aim of the project is to give unique learning opportunities to children and positively impact their physical, mental, emotional, and social growth through sports.
La Villa de los Soñadores was created in 2021 by Ria Money Transfer and Fundación Atlético de Madrid (the foundation of football club Atlético de Madrid, which we have been sponsoring since 2019) to provide children at risk of social exclusion with a safe environment to develop their physical and mental abilities.
How the project supports children and their parents
Thanks to the project, young boys and girls between 8 and 18 years-old selected from the social integration program of the city of Alcalá de Henares, Spain, are welcomed to the Centro Deportivo Wanda Alcalá de Henares twice a week to train with the staff and learn Atlético de Madrid’s methodology. Having access to the top-notch football club’s facilities and training staff is a great benefit in itself, and yet there’s more: the kids and their parents also receive seminars and classes on empowerment, nutrition, personal motivation, and orientation.
Through sports, La Villa de los Soñadores also teaches kids important values like friendship, discipline, determination, and teamwork, and gives them the attitude and self-confidence to dream and achieve a bright future.
“We want kids to feel a sense of belonging in the school as well as with other teammates,” said José Cabral, Vice President Europe and Middle East at Ria Money Transfer. “This project will help them feel empowered, discover their abilities and their value, gain confidence in themselves, and be prepared to face any challenge.”
A surprise visit and unexpected gifts
The children participating in the program and their families were ecstatic at the opportunity to take part in the project hosted by the legendary football club. Throughout the year, the young players received surprise visits and gifts, like the day they played with football legend Fernando Torres or when they were given their training kits, each with a new Atlético de Madrid shirt. “They couldn’t believe it”, says Rafael Castillo Dragone, our Global Sponsorship Coordinator. “A few kids thought they would have to give the shirts back and were trying very hard not to ruin the tags, just in case the shop wouldn’t accept the return. They were delighted to hear the shirts were theirs to keep. It’s heartwarming to see how our work on the project is translating into so much happiness for the children. The project is truly helping them to dream bigger.”
The positive impact of La Villa de Los Soñadores
The parents of the La Villa de los Soñadores players have also seen first-hand how the project is positively impacting their children’s lives, even noticing a change in attitude and disposition. Marco and Inma, parents of young player Yeray, commented: “We can only be thankful to Ria and the Atlético de Madrid Foundation: they are making our child’s dream come true by giving him the opportunity to play for Atlético de Madrid and helping him change his life and dreams for the better.”
At Ria, we are committed to creating a world in which people are empowered to build the life they dream of, no matter who they are or where they are. Every person, family, and community is important.
Keep following our blog for more news on La Villa de los Soñadores and our other projects.
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