Today it has been announced that FC Barcelona has entered into a 3-year partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundationin an attempt to eradicate polio. According to the facts presented, polio, though it is almost unheard of in the advanced “western” world, is still a problem for many children in poorer countries and still kills man people every year. The goal is to completely eradicate the awful disease once and for all by raising awareness, money, and support through a mutual partnership with the club and the Foundation.
In my opinion, this is a win for both groups, not that it even needs to be thought of in such terms, because ending a horrible disease that kills people is enough, in and of itself, but still, you get my point. The Gates Foundation gets an international brand and the world’s most successful club in recent memory to promote their ideals (which are completely laudable by the way) and FC Barcelona gets a PR win and does actual good to try and live up to the motto of the club. Best of all: hopefully people still dealing with polio (its 99% eradicated) are given life-saving medicines and information is spread around the globe.
The ins and outs of the deal are pretty simple, but here is what Bill Gates had to say on the Foundation’s blog:
Contrary to popular belief, I don’t spend a whole lot of time following soccer. But as I have travelled around the world to better understand global development and health, I’ve learned that soccer is truly universal. No matter where I go, that’s what kids are playing. That’s what people are talking about.
That’s why I’m so excited to announce a partnership our foundation is creating with FC Barcelona, one of the greatest clubs in the world. We hope that together we can bring more global attention to the promise of life-saving vaccines and the fight to end polio. FC Barcelona has a long history of being involved in social causes and an enormous global network of fans. We hope that once they learn more about the fight against polio, they’ll be just as fanatical about finishing it as they are about Leo Messi.
The facts are simple:
Thanks to a 13 cent vaccine and a phenomenal effort led by Rotary International to reach all children with that vaccine, cases of this devastating disease have fallen by 99 percent in the past 20 years.
Stopping the fight now is simply not an option. If we don’t do the really hard work to eradicate polio now, the disease will come back with a vengeance. Polio anywhere is a threat everywhere.
I can’t wait to learn a little more about soccer – or fútbol – by spending time with the team at Barça. And I can’t wait for them (and there are millions of them) to celebrate with us when the world reaches this global health milestone.
A video featuring great players and moments in FC Barcelona history was also produced to tout the goals of the campaign:
All in all, this feels like a win-win-win-win all around for all parties involved. It’s for a wonderful cause, with a wonderful foundation, to help save the lives of children. We as fans cannot ask for much more from the club. For more information or to show your support, please visit More Than A Goal’s official Facebook page.
Also, as usual, BarcaStuff has all the good quotes on Twitter, also follow the writers here who are on Twitter for more coverage and arguing amongst ourselves: Isaiah- @fcbfootballblog Kevin- @kevvwill Linda- @blackwhitengrey Luke- @lukeisamazing