Final joy for Romanian children

Ten deprived children in Romania will have the thrill of a lifetime at the UEFA Europa League final - thanks to UEFA, the Romanian Football Federation and Terre des hommes.

Giving children joy through football
Giving children joy through football ©Terres des hommes

UEFA, the Romanian Football Federation (FRF) and UEFA's social responsibility partner Terre des Hommes (Tdh) have teamed up to offer ten deprived children in Romania a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to attend Wednesday's UEFA Europa League final between Club Atlético de Madrid and Athletic Club at the National Arena in Bucharest.

The children have been included in the MOVE project supported by UEFA and run by Terre des hommes. For some of the children coming from isolated villages, it will be their first time in Bucharest.

The children have all been at risk in relation to various negative phenomena, such as neglect or serious deprivation, abuse, exploitation, physical health, emotional problems or behaviour difficulties.

Forty children were initially selected by their peers to attend an event in Bucharest in March, on the basis of the following criteria: regular participation in MOVE activities, fair play and friendly attitude, non-discriminative behavior, team spirit, leadership, etc.

Out of these 40 children, ten were then selected by ballot, last month, by the FRF president Mircea Sandu, together with UEFA and Terre des hommes representatives, to attend the match on Wednesday. They will be accompanied by up to three adults selected by Tdh. The FRF is providing equipment for the children.

The MOVE project started in 2008 and operates in Romania, Moldova and Albania. It is concerned with children's psychosocial development and social inclusion through games and sport, based on the MGS intervention model (Movement, Games and Sport), and is implemented in collaboration with UEFA and local partners.

By bringing together children of different ethnic origins and getting them playing sport, MOVE seeks to develop their personal and social abilities. Besides members of the Tdh foundation, coaches and animators, the project also engages local authorities and schools. There are currently 28 communities from the Dolj region and ten schools from Bucharest taking part with a total of 400 trained animators.

Tdh protects children's rights and is active in 30 countries across the world. By its actions, the foundation tries to safeguard every child's rights, regardless of origin and background, according to the Convention on the Rights of the Child.