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Emirates discovers long-term benefits of the FIFA World Cup and servicing South Africa holidays

  • 13-Jul-10 14:09
  • Emirates
  • Holiday Industry

Extending well beyonde the sale of seats and promotion of the great onboard and off-board service they offer, during their time in South Africa, as one of the main sponsors of the FIFA World Cup, Emirates also took the time to support a great charity.

Emirates discovers long-term benefits of the FIFA World Cup and servicing South Africa holidays

While football fans across the globe looked forward to this weekend’s FIFA World Cup Final in Johannesburg, members of Emirates’ cabin crew focused on a whole new ball game - one designed to deliver long-term benefits for South Africa and not just the operational aspect of servicing Africa holidays.

The Football for Hope centre, in the township of Khayelitsha, is funded by FIFA and the six Official FIFA Partners – of which Emirates is one. The project aims to use football for positive social change and earlier this week, four of Emirates’cabin crew visited the centre to find out more about the project.

Carolina Rodriguez from Argentina, Joanna Boyd from New Zealand, Vivienne Seiler from Canada and Claire Overton from the UK, met with the volunteers who are helping to make a difference to the lives of children in the township through a shared love of football. The centre is run by Grassroot Soccer which uses the power of soccer in the fight against HIV and AIDS, providing youth worldwide with the knowledge, life skills and support to live healthier lives.

Working with the community in Khayelitsha, the centre has a curriculum which focuses on building basic life skills that help boys and girls adopt healthy behaviours and live risk-free. Through a series of interactive activities and discussions students gain a tangible understanding of HIV and AIDS.

The Football for Hope centre in Cape Town is the first of 20 centres to be built throughout Africa as part of the legacy of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The aim of each centre is to promote public health, education and football in disadvantaged communities across the country, and the centre in Cape Town is already having a major, positive impact on the township.

“It was fantastic that the Emirates crew were able to come and visit the centre and see what Emirates has helped to deliver, through their sponsorship of the FIFA World Cup.”

The Emirates cabin crew were given a tour of the facility and met with some of the children who were making the most of the facility during their school holidays. UK-born Claire Overton enjoyed the experience, saying: “The Football for Hope Centre provides children from Khayelitsha with the opportunity to channel their focus on to something constructive, be it football or education. This will benefit the community in the long run as the youth of Khayelitsha and the surrounding communities will be able to develop their skills in a safe environment.”

New Zealander Joanna Boyd summed up the experience on behalf of her colleagues saying: “This was a truly brilliant experience. Projects like these give the underprivileged communities the opportunity to feel part of the 2010 FIFA World Cup and the legacy will last for a long time to come”.

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