Arsenal Football Club has announced an exciting new project in Indonesia with its global charity partner, Save the Children.
Ahead of the Arsenal first-team squad taking on the Indonesia Dream Team on Sunday, a group of eight young people who will benefit from the partnership were invited to take part in a special activity session with the Arsenal manager, Arsène Wenger, chief executive Ivan Gazidis and young players Chuks Aneke and Chuba Akpom to formally announce the new programme.
Young people from the Save the Children project in Bandung attended an event at the Skye Bar in Jakarta with a special meal to break the day’s fasting for Ramadan. Building on the vocational skills that they are learning back home, some of the young people joined chefs in the luxurious venue’s kitchen to learn how to prepare a traditional meal, before showing off their new skills to the Arsenal trio. Others in the group who are learning how to make batik items – traditional Indonesian garments – showed off samples that they had sewn.
The Club, through The Arsenal Foundation, has committed to donate £300,000 to Save the Children over three years to fund a project that will directly support 4,000 vulnerable young people in Bandung Province, West Java by providing them with enhanced vocational education and employment skills.
"It’s always humbling to see the difference that Arsenal can make to young people’s lives and today has been no different"
To make the group’s visit to Jakarta even more special, the youngsters will attend the Gunners’ fixture against the Indonesia Dream Team at the Gelora Bung Karnu Stadium, while two of the young people from the Bandung project, 17-year olds Nia and Rafi, will be given the honour of stepping out onto the pitch to hand over the match ball to the referee before kick-off.
Speaking about the visit, Wenger said: “It’s always humbling to see the difference that Arsenal can make to young people’s lives and today has been no different. This project will have a massive impact and it’s been great to come to this incredible venue and meet some of the youngsters who are being supported by Save the Children’s work in Indonesia. Hopefully this will inspire them to go on and achieve even greater things!”
Save the Children’s Indonesia country director, Ricardo Caivano, said: “We are delighted to welcome Arsenal to Indonesia, and to give these young people the opportunity to demonstrate the skills they are learning to the players. Arsenal’s support of our project in Bandung will make an incredible difference to the lives of thousands of young people, providing them with the skills and links to employers that they need to fulfil their potential.”
Many vulnerable young people in Indonesia face unemployment as they transition into adulthood, while youth unemployment is estimated at 25 per cent. Save the Children’s project, funded by Arsenal, is developing the skills of young people and creating better links to private-sector employers, which aims to improve job prospects and ensure a brighter future for young people in the Bandung region of Indonesia.
As well as providing training on employability skills that will lead to better employment opportunities, the project will also enable young people to improve their team work, confidence and leadership through various activities, including a football tournament.
In addition, the project will provide training to 150 teachers at colleges across the Bandung region so that they can use new skills and improved resources to support thousands more young people in the future.
For more information about Arsenal’s global charity partnership, visit www.arsenal.com/thearsenalfoundation.
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