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UNHCR and Madrid City Hall are BBVA’s partners in this initiative
The BBVA benefit race to raise funds for internally displaced children in Colombia
- The BBVA benefit face (Carrera Solidaria BBVA), open to employees, bank customers and the general public, will be held on November 7 in Madrid
- The registration fee is ¤5. BBVA will match donations collected for the race
- The 10,000-runner limit was reached in record time
- This BBVA initiative stems from an agreement with the Spanish chapter of the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, whereby the Bank will use the proceeds from this year's race to fund education for children and teenagers displaced by armed conflict in Colombia
With the maximum 10,000 participants already signed up, a minimum donation of ¤100,000 is guaranteed, not counting donations from those who wish to contribute to this good cause without taking part in the race. These funds will go directly to UNHCR via its Spanish chapter.
The 2010 BBVA benefit race will be held at 9:00 am on Sunday, November 7. It starts at BBVA's headquarters on Castellana 81 and ends at Retiro Park. Runners can choose between a 5K or a 10K route.
There will be a children’s category for ages 12 to 15, a junior men’s and women's category for ages 16 to 19, a seniors category for ages 20 to 34, a veterans category for ages 35 to 45 and a B veterans category for over 45.
BBVA Spain and Portugal Director Juan Asúa, Madrid Lieutant Mayor Manuel Cobo and Spain’s UNHCR Committee Managing Director Maria Ángeles Siemens appeared at the Madrid City Hall today to present this year’s BBVA benefit race.
“BBVA’s motto is 'working for a better future for everyone,' and we try to make that a reality, not only in our day-to-day financial activities, but also by encouraging the development of the communities in which we do business,” said Juan Asúa. “At the heart of this commitment is support for education."
BBVA has endowed its Global Financial Education Plan with a ¤26 million budget. The plan’s Valores de future (tomorrow’s stars) program reached 334,333 students in Spanish educational institutions in 2009. In addition, 111,362 people in Latin America have attended personal finance workshops through the “Adelante con tu futuro” (get going on your future) program. BBVA Compass volunteers in the United States have carried out educational activities for young children through the “Teach Children to Save” program.
“Agreements like the one with BBVA to sponsor the benefit race insure that aid is sustainable over time, which is crucial for the education of refugees and internally displaced people," said María Ángeles Siemens, Managing Director of Spain’s UNHCR Committee. “Runners get the double satisfaction of running and helping one of the neediest groups of people,” she said.
Meanwhile, Manuel Cobo noted that “the success of public awareness of and participation in this type of event is a testament to the sponsors, but especially to the individuals who support these charity events, who prove that playing sports is grounded in the values of peaceful coexistence, integration and a quest for excellence. Governments must work to offer the best prospects to our youth through quality education that will prepare them for the job market and offer them a chance at a better future.”
Race registration a success
The annual BBVA benefit race has again sparked great interest, with the runners' field of 10,000 participants filling up in record time. Participants registered online at the race’s website www.carrerasolidariabbva.es.
Runners will receive a kit comprising a T-shirt designed exclusively for the event, a pair of JOMA socks, a BBVA backpack, a stopwatch, a bag for running shoes, Hotelopia.com discount coupons and a UNHCR bracelet.
The right to an education
The proceeds collected from the race will be used to set up four educational facilities emphasizing peace and coexistence, with the goal of fostering safe and secure learning environments for 180 internally displaced boys, girls and teens in Arauca, Colombia. The centers will also hold empowerment and self-defense workshops to help children and teens avoid becoming victims of forced conscription in communities such as Villavicencio, Puerto Rico and Puerto Gaitán. Meanwhile, 55 internally displaced teens will gain access to higher education scholarships that will substantially improve their future prospects.
More than 3.5 million people in Colombia are classified as internally displaced, 83% of them women, girls and boys who have been forced to abandon their homes, belongings and ways of life. UNHCR has 14 offices in Colombia to assist and protect people who have been displaced by the country’s armed conflict.
“Lane zero runners"
For individuals who cannot participate in the run or who simply wish to help improve the lives of boys and girls in Colombia by making a donation, BBVA has set up a "lane zero" for non-participant donations.
These donations will enable UNHCR to renovate a school cafeteria, early childhood home and community building for the indigenous communities of Chidima and Pescadito, allowing 119 indigenous boys and girls to attend school. Furthermore, lane zero runners' contributions will fund "learning circles," allowing 1,924 extremely at-risk boys and girls to attend elementary school in an environment which encourages cooperation and solidarity and emphasizes the role of games in learning.
For further information:
- BBVA Corporate Communication Tel.: 91 374 69 12
- UNHCR Spain- Public Information Department María Jesús Vega // Rosa Otero Tel: 91 556 36 49 / 91 556 35 03
- Miren Ispizua -- Spanish UNHCR Committee Tel.: 669403890