|Dominican Republic - “They play, we educate”|
|Portugal – PE: Educating with love, the “Solsal” Project|
|RMG – PE: Young people and Salesians in Portugal|
(ANS – Funchal) – The Social-sporting School of the Salesians at Funchal, the result of an agreement between the Real Madrid Foundation, promoting the project and the Salesian “Sant’Antonio” Province is coming to the end of its first year. On the island of Madeira, where the star of Real Madrid Cristiano Ronaldo was born, the Sons of Don Bosco are helping other “champions” of life to grew up.
The Funchal School which can take a maximum of 100 children opened its doors on 24 October 2011. The Educational/Sporting Project is the result of a proposal by the Real Madrid Foundation, in collaboration with the Madrid Mission Office and with the support of the Banco Popular – which funds the activities – already has a varied programme for the many children attending the Salesian centre.
It is aimed at children between 6 and 13 years of age from the most socially disadvantaged sections of the community. There they can benefit from the sporting activities provided (football and swimming), from arts courses, ordinary schooling and psycho-affective guidance. The families of the children are also involved in the project.
Many local and national firms also provide material assistance for the children as they collaborate in providing food and the technical resources needed.
In the centre there are about 60 volunteers, organised by a team consisting of a teacher sporting -coordinator, a psychologist-coordinator for the socio-educative activities, a sports coach and a Salesian coordinator Fr Álvaro Lago. At present the daily attendance at the “Mais Salesianos Funchal” is 81.
The official opening ceremony took place on 24 April, with a typically Salesian celebration. Among the distinguished guests were the President of the Regional Government of Madeira, Dr. Alberto Joao Jardim, the Director General of the Real Madrid Foundation, Dr. Julio Gonzalez, the Head of the Salesian Mission Office in Madrid, Fr Agustín Pacheco and the Rector Fr Eusebio Fernando de Castro.