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Following an initiative originally proposed by the Argentine Footballers' Union, FAA, the "Goals for Scholas" campaign was embodied in a historic agreement — announced by Pope Francis at the Vatican — by which football will be directly involved with "Scholas Occurrentes", the transformation programme promoted by the Pope to build a world in which no one is excluded, aimed at encouraging social integration and fostering peace among peoples through education, with the aid of art, technology and sport.

 

Specifically, the "Goals for Scholas" (Goles por Scholas) campaign means that for every goal scored and every penalty saved during the Copa América to be held in Chile this year, 10,000 dollars will be donated to Scholas Occurrentes.

As well as Sergio Marchi and Carlos Pandolfi, FAA General Secretary and Treasurer respectively, the ceremony was attended by delegates from the various institutions participating in this project. Conmebol, the South American Football Confederation, was represented by its Vice-President, Sergio Jadue, President of the National Football Association of Chile, the host country of the 2015 Copa América, and by Luis Chiriboga, President of the Ecuadorian Football Federation, Rafael Esquivel, President of the Venezuelan Football Federation, and Luis Segura, President of the Argentine Football Association. In attendance for Scholas were its worldwide directors, the Argentine teachers Enrique Palmeyro and José María del Corral, and for the Pontifical Academy of Sciences its Bishop-Chancellor, Monsignor Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo. For TYC Sports, CEO Carlos Fridman was present.

"Goals for Scholas means goals for children" was how Marchi, the project coordinator, summed up the event, naturally pleased to know that the idea put forward by the Argentine Footballers' Association had received the expected support. And he added: "When we began we had hopes that we would be able to bring it to fruition, and we are proud to be here, because this will help Scholas and the kids." Pope Francis, for his part, said that "this is a very important step, because sport is an instrument of social education. Sport teaches people to help others and work as a team".

The funds collected at the Copa América will go towards meeting the requests Scholas is receiving from the most impoverished educational communities, which reflects the importance and the value of the agreement that has been signed.

Some details of the agreement

Objectives

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To help develop and finance the projects for social integration through education carried out by Scholas Occurrentes in the countries participating in the Copa América and other continental competitions.

What does the project involve?

For every goal scored in the Copa América, Conmebol will donate a certain sum of money to the scholas social education programme, promoted by Pope Francis. At the same time the Scholas programme will be publicised, which will help to establish it in the countries taking part in the competitions.

What is Scholas Occurrentes?

It is the educational transformation programme promoted by Pope Francis with the aim of encouraging social integration and fostering peace among peoples through education, with the aid of art, technology and sport.

Why help Scholas?

Because it is carrying out a huge social task and needs reliable and constant financial support. And also because it is well known that Pope Francis is behind it, which means that it is growing very fast, so it needs to set up a structure that can respond urgently to the heavy demand.

Who is taking part?

Conmebol, scholas occurrentes, the argentine footballers' union and tyc sports, as well as other parties that can contribute to achieving the objectives.

What is each of them contributing?

  • Conmebol is providing the name of its competition and making a donation of us $10,000 (ten thousand us dollars) to scholas for every goal scored and every penalty saved during normal time in the course of the championships. It is the hub of the process of fund-raising, publicity and charity work.
  • The Argentine Football Association is the institution that has worked on organising the necessary links between the parties for this project to be carried out.
  • The Argentine footballers' association, FAA, suggested developing the idea and has committed itself to providing support for the players and collaborating in coordinating the project.
  • TyC Sports is taking care of broadcasting, audiovisual production and presentations.
  • Scholas is responsible for implementing the programme with the total funds collected. It undertakes to present a clear, audited report on how the funds are spent.

Duration of the agreement

The strategic partners in the Goals for Scholas project undertake to work jointly to obtain finance and publicity for Scholas Occurrentes projects in the region during the continental nations championships to be held in 2015 (in Chile), 2016 (in the United States), 2019 (in Brazil), 2023 (in principle, in Ecuador) and 2027 (in principle, in Uruguay).

The parties agree to set up a Committee to monitor the Goals for Scholas project, with two representatives from each of them and Sergio Marchi as honorary coordinator.

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