HAlmost 30 years have passed since Casemiro kicked a ball on the dirt streets of his neighborhood, but he hasn’t forgotten it. Because the Brazilian player, a midfielder for Real Madrid, grew up in a house where he ate when he pruned and slept where there was room. Now he is a man with the aura of a champion who walks to reconnect with his childhood.
The player wanted to spend an entire afternoon with kids from the Madrid neighborhood of Vallecas and professionals from the NGO Save the Children who attend to them. Within minutes of walking through the center gate, he is playing with children who could have been him. They live in Madrid and he grew up in São Paulo, but neither one nor the other has had it easy. Casemiro knows that this is his cause: to fight against child poverty.
“I have had a very complicated childhood, so it is an honor for me to help and I know how important it is to do so. Save the Children knows that they can count on me,” Casemiro said during his visit.
The footballer has visited one of the organization’s child care centers, accompanied by its general manager, Andrs Conde. There he has met many of the 119 boys and girls, from 72 families with low resources and risk of social exclusion, who come to this resource, in which educational reinforcement and leisure activities are offered for minors of all age groups. old.
The place is a safe space to grow in a neighborhood with few parks and living areas. There are parenting groups for families with babies, groups for mothers and fathers, classrooms for the little ones (from 0 to 6 years old), a psychological care service, healthy eating workshops and training in digital literacy and employment for parents, and Therefore, their sons and daughters can have job options.
“The presence here of social references like Casemiro is very valuable, both for the boys and girls with whom we work and to give social projection to the reality in which we live. It is unacceptable that in a country like Spain, which is the fourth economy of the European Union, there are a million children living in severe poverty. This is something we have to put an end to,” stressed Conde.
CHILD POVERTY IN SPAIN: AN UNACCEPTABLE SITUATION
31.8% of children in Spain are at risk of poverty or social exclusion: this is 2.6 million boys and girls, well above the European Union average (23.8%). Despite being the fourth largest economy in the EU, we lead the ranking of child poverty, only surpassed by Romania and Bulgaria. 14.1% of children live in severe poverty in our country.
80% of children living in poverty will be poor adults and more than a quarter will continue to grow up in poverty in the next decade in our country. However, we believe that, with the right policies for children, the percentage of child poverty in 2030 should be reduced to 17%.
THE WORK OF SAVE THE CHILDREN
Save the Children is the largest international organization for the protection of children. In Spain, it has been developing support programs for the most vulnerable boys and girls for more than 30 years, providing them with comprehensive care so that the economic situation or social exclusion in which they live does not prevent them from fully enjoying their rights and from achieving the maximum of their capabilities. We want nothing to stop children from being everything they want to be.