For several days, I had the opportunity to accompany Sergio Ramos on his visit to Peru to get to know first-hand together with UNICEF the situation of children affected by the floods. As president of RR-Soccer Management Agency and Sergio’s agent, it has been a privilege to be able to learn about the remarkable stories of those overcoming such difficult circumstances.
Sergio, Ambassador for the UNICEF Spanish Committee, made the most of his first days off by meeting children from Piura who were affected by the rains in March.
At Catacaos we visited the shelter 980 where many families and children who were forced to abandon their homes due to the floods are now staying. Sergio had the opportunity to play football with a very special friend, Josué, two and a half years old, who just one month ago was suffering from acute malnutrition. He also helped the mothers to prepare low-cost meals in the dining hall and observed the protocol being followed to monitor the children’s health.
Afterwards, we moved on to the Santiago Artemio Requena School, which had also suffered serious damages from the rainfall. There we could see how the school was slowly returning back to normality. The visit ended in the best possible way, with a football match where Sergio played together with several of the children.
The trip to the area was followed by a visit to the small village Villa Vicus, which thanks to UNICEF has a new water pump. The children welcomed us with games and when we left they were kicking around the ball that Sergio had given them. Finally, he enjoyed and took part in activities from the programme ‘La onda de mi cole’ (My School’s Vibe) which helps young people to reflect on children’s rights.
The visit to Peru is the fourth trip for the UNICEF Ambassador of the Spanish Committee, following his visits to Senegal, Brazil and Cuba. In Sergio’s own words, the sole aim of the trip was to bring attention to the situation of the children in Peru and to ask for your help: “No child should be deprived of their basic rights to enjoy their childhood. I am ready to do all I can so that UNICEF has the resources needed to continue to look after them. And yourselves? Together we have the opportunity and obligation to help them. Now is the time.”
Without a doubt, our profession has given us a unique opportunity and an unforgettable experience with children who simply want to move forward with their best smiles.