Club announces Save The Children project

Arsenal Football Club has announced an exciting overseas project in China with its international charity partner, Save the Children, as the Club prepares for its pre-season tour of the Far East in July.

The Club, through The Arsenal Foundation, will make a donation of £300,000 to its official global charity partner over three years, helping to dramatically improve the quality of education of disadvantaged children aged six to 15, in some of Beijing’s most under-resourced schools.

Together, Arsenal and Save the Children will train 200 teachers and 20 head teachers so that they have the necessary skills to plan and deliver improved and age-appropriate lessons for students in China’s curriculum. This will reduce the chances of children dropping out of school and the risk of being excluded from future opportunities in later life - giving more young people the chance to fulfil their potential.

Save the Children is the world's leading independent organisation fighting for the rights of children worldwide. It has been implementing projects in China since the late 1980s and plays a crucial role in defending the rights of vulnerable children across the country through programmes in education, health, emergency response and child protection.

To celebrate the announcement, Arsenal Chief Executive Officer, Ivan Gazidis, visited an
Early Childhood Care and Development Centre (ECCD) in Beijing on Wednesday as the Club prepares for its forthcoming tour, meeting some of the teachers, community members and children at the neighbouring primary school that are set to benefit from the project.

Speaking about the initiative, Gazidis said: “We are incredibly excited to be launching this new project which carries on our tradition of giving back to our community. It was a humbling but uplifting experience for us to meet the children, their teachers and parents.

"Our partnership with Save the Children will help us reach even more young people globally and give them a chance to realise their potential - a philosophy to which we are committed to both on and off the pitch at Arsenal.
 
"Over the past 12 months players, supporters and staff have shown outstanding dedication and generosity towards our partnership with Save the Children and it’s fantastic that we can channel this commitment to our projects both in the UK and overseas that will have such a positive impact on so many lives.”

Justin Forsyth, Chief Executive of Save the Children, added: “Education has the power to transform lives and provide many children with a route out of poverty. This exciting next phase in our partnership with Arsenal will help us reach thousands of children in China, providing them with quality education to build a brighter future and reach their full potential.”

To engage Arsenal supporters in the project, the Club is gathering inspirational stories from players, staff and supporters about their own childhood which will be turned into a book which will be delivered by Arsenal players on a trip to a school during the pre-season tour on Thursday, July 26.

Arsenal first-team players including Andre Santos, Robin van Persie, Emmanuel Frimpong, Gervinho and Tomas Rosicky have all shared personal experiences from their childhood which will be included in this special edition book.

Scroll down for a picture gallery of Ivan Gazidis' visit to Save The Children in Beijing

All images by Paul Zhang/Save the Children

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13 Jun 2012