July 19 2007
Opening of two football grounds financed by FIFA in Bolivia
19/07/2007 - At the end of June, two new football grounds for children and youths were inaugurated in the cities of La Paz and El Alto in Bolivia. The grounds were financed by FIFA through a variety of activities carried out under the partnership of FIFA for SOS Children's Villages throughout the world.
The first ground was built in El Pedregal, a deprived neighbourhood of one of the suburban areas of La Paz city, where SOS Children's Villages operates several family strengthening programmes. The event was attended by Denisse Ostermann, representative of the City Hall's Office, Eduardo Estrada, President of the La Paz neighbourhood federation, Ana Maria Granda, President of SOS Children's Villages Bolivia, and other local authorities and guests.
During the opening ceremony, Mr. Estrada expressed the community's gratitude by saying: "Thanks to SOS Children's Villages, the El Pedregal neighbourhood now has a new football ground. It will surely be very useful for the children and youths of our community. This is only one proof that SOS Children's Villages works in favour of our neighbourhoods and communities."
The same day, a second inauguration of a football ground took place in the city of El Alto, this time in the neighbourhood of Juntuma. The opening was attended by Trinidad Tola, District Mayor of El Alto City, Francisco Monrroy, President of the neighbourhood, and Ana Maria Granda, among other important local representatives.
The ceremony was closed in Aymara style with a community "ch'alla", which is a traditional tribute to mother earth, and a very typical communal luncheon, known in the Bolivian Andes as "aphtapi". Both grounds consist of a medium-size rigid platform (16 x 30 meters) including goal posts and basketball boards on both end lines of the grounds. There is also a grandstand on one side of the grounds.
The work of promoting talented youngsters receives generous support from FIFA in the form of funds provided for urgently needed sports grounds, especially in the poorer countries of the world. These facilities are constructed in or near SOS Children's Villages, where they offer the children healthy and meaningful leisure activities and good conditions for training for talented youths.
The goal of the partnership with FIFA is to support children and young people from SOS Children's Villages first and foremost through public relations: to create public awareness of FIFA's social commitment, to draw the attention of football audiences worldwide to the plight of abandoned and neglected children.