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06.08.2009 15:37

Supporting disadvantaged kids

David Saura (enviat especial)

Coinciding with the Seattle Sounders game, FC Barcelona gave its support to the most disadvantaged sections of the local community. A group of children whose parents are immigrants had the chance to say hello to Rafa Márquez and Joan Laporta.

In partnership with Seattle Sounders and the Washington State Migration Council (a non-profit set up to improve the quality of life of migrant temporary farm labourers) the meeting was held at Qwest Field at half-time and after the game. The children, chosen at random from the migrant population in the Tri-Cities region in Washington State, also got to see the match free.

More than 300,000 migrant farm workers live in poor conditions in the eastern part of Washington State on low incomes and with little access to housing. Many families are not aware of their rights and the rest are scared of exercising them for fear of reprisals from some farm owners. It is children from this community who have benefited from the initiative.

Working in the fields

david_01.jpgIf life is hard for migrant farm workers, it is even more so for their children. Many of them start working in the fields at the age of 13 instead of going to school. The region’s primary and secondary schools have programmes for educating these children but it is hard to persuade them to study instead of working in the fields to help their parents. For these kids football is a way of escaping from stark reality as well as a dream of glory.

The big moment

Many of these kids, the vast majority of whom are Mexican, had their dream come true at Qwest Field especially after the game. That was when they got to meet Rafa Márquez and spend a few minutes chatting with him.

Even though it hadn’t been the best of days for the Mexican defender, who’d torn a calf muscle that morning in training, he still had a smile for the children. Previously at half time the children had met club chairman Joan Laporta, accompanied by Marta Segú, director general of the Foundation, who gave them gifts to mark a day they will never forget.
Supporting disadvantaged kids

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