The Rafa Nadal Foundation collaborates with the Vicente Ferrer Foundation and opens a new school in India
The new comprehensive education centre will benefit 120 children
The Rafa Nadal Foundation has chosen the Vicente Ferrer Foundation (FVF) to carry out one of its first cooperation projects. Rafa Nadal, and representatives from the Foundation that bears his name, have opened a comprehensive education school in the city of Anantapur, in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, where the FVF has been established for over 40 years, implementing its comprehensive development programme.
The school aims to provide academic, psychosocial, health and nutritional support to over one hundred children from disadvantaged communities: the Dalits, or “untouchables”, tribal groups, and the “backward castes”. Sport, in this case, tennis, becomes an efficient integration tool for all these boys and girls from different castes, towns, and ages.
"I’m really happy to be here, to the school up close and to meet the children who are going to study there. I hope they like it and make good use of it, and that this project helps them to develop, and to receive all the attention that children of this age deserve. Hopefully I can return within a few years and see that those who are studying now, have a new life", said Rafa Nadal. During the opening ceremony, Nadal played tennis with the students at the school.
Moncho Ferrer, Director of Programmes for the Vicente Ferrer Foundation, emphasised the importance of building facilities like these for the development of children in rural India. "The comprehensive education centre funded by the Rafa Nadal Foundation uses sport to promote children’s development, and this is part of the philosophy of the Vicente Ferrer Foundation. The centre has three tennis courts, where children can learn about tennis, train, and play. At the school, the children will also receive classes in English, Maths, and IT. For children in rural areas, it is difficult to get the opportunity to acquire IT skills and English and Maths are usually two subjects with which they have the most difficulty and their level is lower."
The education programme of the Vicente Ferrer Foundation is structured around different disciplines that form part of the cultural and artistic development of children and young people, i.e. visual and performance arts, song, dance, music and sport. Despite the discrimination and exclusion suffered by the Dalits in India, the Foundation’s largest beneficiary group, the practice of sport fosters a feeling of solidarity and cohesion within the group. This feeling is gradually transferred to other aspects of daily life in which children of different castes live together and become integrated.