Ball of friendship for 100 kids

During the school holidays, the international sports camp in Riga gathered more than 100 children from all over Latvia, including children from orphanages and children with special needs. The camp was aimed at promoting the integration of children from orphanages and children with special needs into society, developing their skills and physical abilities, boosting their self-esteem and self-confidence. Young people were studying the subtleties of a football game guided by experienced coaches from the world-famous Spanish football club REAL MADRID, as well as participated in various other events and workshops.

The kids were greatly inspired by learning from the world-class personalities, which is crucial for their growth and self-development. One of the goals of the camp was to draw public attention to discussing social issues that people are often evasive about.

“Youngsters in orphanages and children with special needs face more difficulties regarding their integration into society; therefore, such events are very important for increasing empathy and compassion, and for raising awareness in different segments of society. Children from ordinary families were also invited to participate in the sports camp, thus contributing to mutual acceptance. We really hope that the camp helped some of these children to pursue their dream, others – to find their foster parents”, says Ingrīda Šmite, the board member of BeOpen charitable foundation.

The camp programme during the week included not only workshops by coaches from Real Madrid Foundation, but also other activities: instructors from the Labadaba association helped develop children’s creative skills, and coaches from the Swiss non-governmental organisation „Football is More”, according to their specialisation, worked with children with special needs. During the week, the kids also visited the Riga Motor Museum, went bowling and participated in other social networking activities.

During the week of October 21–26, the football camp gathered a total of 100 children: 49 kids from Latvian children’s homes, 26 children with special needs and 25 youngsters, including football players, from ordinary families.

The camp was organized by the LABADABA association powered by the charitable foundation BeOpen, in collaboration with the international UEFA Foundation for Children Football is More and the Spanish football club REAL MADRID Foundation. The camp was free of charge for all the kids, thanks to the support provided by BeOpen and the construction company LNK.