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Chelsea FC: changing lives of vulnerable Syrian refugees

Chelsea FC: changing lives of vulnerable Syrian refugees

Syrian refugee children enjoy a class at school thanks to support from Chelsea FC and Plan International

Funds raised by Chelsea FC have been helping to transform the lives of Syrian refugee children living in Egypt.

Back in September, the club raised more than £50,000 for Plan International at the match against Arsenal. In the months since then, we’ve been supporting vulnerable Syrian children living in the port city of Alexandria to go to school, learn in safety and recover from the trauma of the conflict that has torn apart their lives.

Chelsea generously donated £1 for every ticket sold to the Arsenal game, as well as auctioning players’ shirts from the Champions League match against Maccabi Tel Aviv – the first shirt to feature Plan International’s logo. Chelsea supporters also donated through a bucket collection and raffle on the day.

Tanya Barron, our chief executive, explained the difference that money raised is making. “We’ve all seen images of the physical devastation caused by the conflict in Syria – but the psychological impact on children can be even more profound.

“With Chelsea’s support we’re helping Syrian children who have fled to Egypt as they recover and rebuild their lives,” she added. “Getting children back into school is a crucial part of this – not only to catch up on months or even years of lost schooling, but to bring back a much-needed sense of normality.”

Through the partnership, 400 children have received ‘school kits’ to enable them to attend classes, with priority given to the most vulnerable: unaccompanied children, children from single parent families and children with illnesses or disabilities. 

The packs contain items that parents can’t otherwise afford – a uniform, socks and shoes, books, and stationery items, as well as support with the costs of school fees and transport. 

On top of this, we’re providing ‘catch-up classes’ to help the young people get back up to speed with education they may have missed in the years since the war broke out, as well as the local Egyptian Arabic language.

Knowing that they are being supported by one of the world’s most famous football clubs has been a real source of pride and excitement for the young refugees, many of whom are big football fans. 

“Heartfelt thanks again to the club and fans for their support,” added Ms Barron. “It really has made a massive difference to these children’s lives.”

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