Arsenal legend Robert Pires recently visited Mumbai for an official club event.
In his role as Arsenal Foundation ambassador, Robert made the most of his time in Mumbai and visited a project run by The Arsenal Foundation’s global charity partner, Save the Children.
Save the Children works in 10 slums on the outskirts of the Deonar garbage dump – the biggest land filling site in Mumbai where the mountains of rubbish are 20 meters deep.
Almost two thirds (62%) of the population in Mumbai live in slums or squatter communities and the poor living conditions have a devastating impact on children’s health and wellbeing. Very few children who live in slums have the opportunity to go to school and a large group of exceptionally vulnerable children in the squatter communities are forced into child labour at an early age.
To reach these children, Save the Children established a 'Mobile Learning Centre' – a bus which has been transformed into a classroom and is taken into the squatter communities to give these children a quality education.
During his visit, Robert met some of the vulnerable children who have been supported by this vital project and visited a local school to play football with the children. Robert also handed out Arsenal kit to the children that had been donated by The Arsenal Foundation, with the help of club partner PUMA.
From the visit, Robert said: “I am so proud to be an ambassador of The Arsenal Foundation and it’s given me this amazing opportunity to visit the work of Save the Children. It was very humbling to meet these young children, many of whom would not have the opportunity to get an education if it wasn’t for the Mobile Learning Centre. It’s inspiring to see the difference Save the Children’s programmes are making to the children who need it most.”
Sandhya Krishnan, General Manager State Programmes at Save the Children, said: "It was incredible to see the children's faces when Robert Pires played football with them. They were very inspired by his visit and they feel really motivated to work hard, continue their education and pursue their dreams.”
Save the Children has been The Arsenal Foundation’s global charity partner since 2011 and have been working together on a number of projects to save children’s lives, fight for their rights and help them fulfil their potential. To date Arsenal has donated over £2m to its global charity partner to change the lives of some of the world’s most vulnerable children.
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