Our sports and solidarity adventures continued in 2018, when we went to Madagascar.
An island far away, a country of contrast and one of the most beautiful places on earth. A world of human, animal and geographical diversity.
The expedition arrived in Madagascar on the 10th April to play a solidarity game, to familiarise themselves with the NGO Yamuna’s facilities, to drop off sports and school supplies and to finally see the most symbolic landscapes the country has to offer.
Once settled in Madagascar, the 36 members of the Ramassà expedition went to their United Nations base where they were welcomed by authorities. The team also made an institutional visit to the town hall of Antananarivo, the capital of the country. That is where they met the opposing team members, CNaP’s, champions of the national league.
The match took place on Sunday 22nd April, at the Vontovorna pitch, the same village where Yamuna works. We were very happy with the successful turn-out of 5433 people, bearing in mind the capital’s uproar the night before.
The players came onto the pitch, with children from Yamuna’s foster homes holding them by the hand; they exchanged banners and Ramassà handed over roses to the opposing team, a gesture to commemorate Saint George’s feast day.
The final score was 9-1 (goal by Ruben Romera), with the first half being evenly matched and both teams played on top form. The event was promoted as an opportunity, through sport, to show the young population the importance of resolving conflicts in a pacific manner, the fight against corruption, citizen participation and saying no to violence.
The importance of this match was reflected on a state television advertisement, encouraging fans to come along.
The joint project between Ramassà and Yamuna has been an ambitious and difficult one, and lots of time and resources have been spent on it. Since 2000, the NGO has worked on diminishing marginalisation of the most vulnerable groups and focuses on the task of protecting children and women.
Ramassà has been donating sports equipment to CNaP’s since the very beginning. Part of this donation, around 300 kilos, was in collaboration with RCD Espanyol. They also donated school supplies to the Mandrosoa school children. In total, the team donated 700 kilos of supplies.
At the start, the project provided funding for a bus to take children with learning difficulties to the special education school of Tana. In the end, this initiative did not go ahead due to a shift in the NGO’s priorities, as Yamuna had to reserve the resources to fight against the plague and the damage left from Hurricane Ava.
Due to this, the club helped out in constructing the second shelter for Yamuna’s main facilities in Tsinjo. On the other hand, after last year’s release of the solidarity book ‘El Somni d’en Jan’, this year we have published ‘El viatge d’en Vic’ which will also be used to collect funds.
In the days leading up to the match, Ramassà visited the Mandrosoa School, where they spent the day doing different activities with the children, such as gardening, handicraft, singing, dancing, cooperative football
In Madagascar, public schools do not receive aid from the state, the classes are overflowing, and the teachers have barely been trained. This is why Yamuna donates to this school, to fix this problem. At the end of the day, we gave them school supplies.