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04.12.2007 16:48

“You are not alone, the club is thinking of you”

Marc Parramon (enviat especial)

The FC Barcelona expedition has arrived in Swaziland, where Joan Laporta has told people affected by HIV/AIDS that they are very much in the football club’s thoughts.

The Barça president arrived on Tuesday in Manzini, the second biggest city in the country, as part of the joint project involving FC Barcelona and Unicef. Swaziland is the first country to benefit from the alliance, where one and a half million euros from the first year of the project are to be spent on worthy causes.

After travelling from Johannesburg to Manzini, arriving at 13.40, the touring party was met at the airport by Jama Gulaid, the Unicef representative in Swaziland.

Visit to Shewula clinic

President Laporta was then taken to Shewula, a town of 10,000 people, where he was shown the facilities at a clinic. Thanks to Barça’s contribution, the mechanisms for detecting and preventing the transmission of HIV/AIDS from mother to child have been vastly improved at the centre.

The main problem in Swaziland is the existence of so many children orphaned by the disease. The population is now more aware than it was before, more women take regular checks for HIV before getting pregnant and more people are using the facilities on offer at the clinic in Shewula. What Barça has achieved at the centre includes a new module for looking after patients in more intimate surroundings.

Barça’s social responsibilities

Joan Laporta was very proud to see what Barça has achieved. “I am here to learn about your situation” he said. “To learn from your friendship and strength to fight, despite the problems you have. I am very proud that our agreement with Unicef has enabled us to develop our social responsibilities … our team has more than 108 years of history and our aim is to help with a project to support children. You are not alone, there is a club that is thinking of you. Our fight against AIDS will be a success”.

The president then added that “our players don’t just play football. They also want to say that children are not alone.”
“You are not alone, the club is thinking of you”
Crucial understanding
Meanwhile, Jama Gulaid, Unicef’s representative in Swaziland highlighted his gratitude for so much international support from Barça, which is achieving so much synergy with the local community. “Without the agreement between Barça and Unicef we wouldn’t be able to do anything. We’d do nothing without the altruist help of organisations like Barça”.

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