Pictures: Duo attend Save the Children event
As part of Arsenal's Asia Tour 2012, Presented by Emirates, Abou Diaby and Johan Djourou visited the Club’s international charity project in partnership with Save the Children.
The Club, through The Arsenal Foundation, has made 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.
As part of the visit, the two players delivered a collection of stories of childhood from Arsenal players, staff and supporters in China to inspire children to be the best they can be. During the visit, Abou and Johan played football with the children and participated in arts, craft and reading.
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.
Speaking about the visit Johan said: “This is the second visit that I have made to a Save the Children project – the first time back home at Emirates Stadium and now in China. It’s incredible that the power of Arsenal can touch so many people in so many different ways.
"This project will make such a difference to these young children’s lives and it’s fantastic to be part of this. It’s been a humbling experience.”
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.
"We are thrilled that Johan and Abou have been able to see first hand the huge difference our partnership is making to children’s lives in the UK and overseas.”
Contributors to the book include Ivan Gazidis, Andre Santos, Robin van Persie, Emmanuel Frimpong, Gervinho and Tomas Rosicky, who have all shared personal experiences from their childhood which will be included in this special edition.
For more information about Arsenal’s global charity partnership, visit www.arsenal.com/savethechildren.
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Annual fundraiser returns on Sunday to help support even more projects that transform young people’s lives