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Chapitre 07

7

Solidarity

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Children for Tomorrow
Stefanie Graf's commitment to children
Having officially retired from the circuit in 1999, Stefanie Graf has since dedicated herself to her family and to the charitable organization she founded in 1998 in conjunction with the "Outpatient Clinic for Refugee Children and their Families". Headquartered at the University Clinic of Hamburg-Eppendorf, Children for Tomorrow proudly opened their new facility in April 2011.
To provide aid to children and families
This non-profit organization aims to provide aid to children and families who are victims of war, flight, persecution or violence. The damage is devastating : sleep disorders, nightmares, depression and other post-traumatic symptoms, all of which require highly intensive psychological treatment. The financial resources of Children for Tomorrow are dedicated to healing this psychological trauma, which is all too often disregarded. Allocation of the Foundation's resources and the financed projects are carefully studied and selected with the help of the University Clinic of Hamburg-Eppendorf.
The Foundation's strategy
In addition to financing projects in Uganda, Eritrea and Kosovo, Children for Tomorrow provides funding for the Outpatient Clinic for Refugee Children and their Families at the University Clinic of Hamburg-Eppendorf, offering psychological and psychiatric treatment to traumatized children from war stricken regions. The Foundation has established valuable partnerships with health professionals and child psychologists at hospitals and elementary schools which enable those in need to receive therapy at the clinic. The Foundation strives for projects to be managed and results achieved as part of a long-term vision.
Stefanie Graf and Longines
A female tennis icon with a supremely precocious talent – she began playing tennis at the age of 4 — a court virtuoso admired for her professionalism and courage, Stefanie Graf has left an indelible mark on the history of tennis. She was a phenomenally successful player throughout her 17-year career : 902 wins, including 22 Grand Slams, an Olympic gold medal, number 1 in the WTA rankings for 377 weeks — a record unbroken to this day. Stefanie Graf is a truly iconic figure in sporting history. Stefanie Graf shares Longines' drive for excellence, performance and elegance. Through her courage, commitment and generosity, the champion perfectly embodies the brand's values, as illustrated by its slogan : "Elegance is an attitude". The watchmaking brand is therefore proud to support the Children for Tomorrow Foundation and the work of its Ambassador of Elegance.
The Foundation's key figures (for the Hamburg facility only)
48 children are treated every day. 4704 hours of psychotherapy are provided every year. 500 hours of educational support are provided every year. 1000 hours of social support are offered every year. 18 months is the average length of a course of therapy. 180 treatment plans are offered every quarter. 17 different countries of origin for refugee patients. 250 child refugees are treated every year. 750 hours of art therapy are offered every year.
Andre Agassi Foundation for Education
Agassi's commitment to education
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES
Andre Agassi is one of the most talented tennis players of his time and combines generosity and elegance with his charity work through his foundation. Founded in 1994, the Andre Agassi Foundation for Education aims to assist the undeserved youth of Las Vegas and provide them with educational opportunities. Andre Agassi also opened up a public school in his home town in 2001 for at-risk children.
Emphasis on Education
Founded in 1994, the Andre Agassi Foundation for Education is dedicated to transforming U.S. public education for underserved youth. The Foundation drives reform by engaging in practice, policy and partnerships that provide quality education and enrichment opportunities. Through its tuition free public charter school, the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy, the Foundation strives to provide 1,200 youth in the historical West Las Vegas neighbourhood with a quality education to prepare for excellence in college and beyond. Through state and national advocacy, the Foundation also works to increase investment and accountability in public schools. The Foundation’s work began with much more general outreach to children in need before Andre Agassi had the realization that education holds the key to opportunity. Having dropped out of school after the ninth grade in order to pursue his tennis career, he recognized what he missed and that others lacked the opportunities he had once they dropped out of school.
The Education Landscape
The Foundation sees a pressing need to improve public education and deliver better outcomes for U.S. students who have fallen behind compared to other countries. The Foundation started a public charter school because of the increased flexibility and autonomy they afford communities to impact a fundamental and immediate need. The impact on students and the support network surrounding them has been extraordinary. “When children are placed in an environment where expectations are high and excellence is the standard, they don’t resent it, Andre Agassi says. They say, ‘It’s about time somebody believed in me.’”
Andre Agassi and Longines
Andre Agassi is one of the greatest tennis players ever. Nicknamed "The Kid of Las Vegas", he has won all four Grand Slam singles titles, without mentioning his victories in Davis Cup, Masters Series, and an Olympic gold medal, a unique feat. His duels with Pete Sampras, his dominant rival in tennis in the 1990s, were memorable moments in sport and have left a trace on tennis’ history. Agassi's game was famous for its precision and its exceptional timing. He also had remarkable endurance and was extremely combative. Agassi's unique style, his kindness and the emotion he transmitted while playing made him a great favourite with the public. In 2006, the Las Vegas player ended a career of 21 years. The 36-year-old American has already won 60 singles titles. Agassi is married to Stefanie Graf since 2001. Since his retirement, Agassi devotes his time to his family (the couple has two children) and his charity work through the Foundation he created in 1994. Longines is extremely glad to count this tennis legend among its Ambassadors since 2007. The Swiss watch brand is also proud to support the Andre Agassi Foundation for Education and thus to take part in the charity activity of its Ambassador of Elegance.
The core beliefs of the Foundation
Every child deserves an outstanding academic experience. Investment in resources and accountability for public schools is essential. Teachers, administrators and parents all have a responsibility to help kids succeed.
"Du Sport et Plus"
steps up to the net for children in hospital
To mark its 10th edition as Partner and Official Timekeeper of the French Open at Roland Garros in 2016, Longines presented a cheque to the “Du Sport et Plus” association, which is sponsored by Paul-Henri Mathieu. Read on to find out what the organisation does to improve the everyday lives of children in hospital.
Eric Friedrich created the “Du Sport et Plus” association after his son was hospitalised with an illness. After visiting a number of paediatric departments, the physical education teacher was able to pinpoint a number of action areas to considerably improve the everyday lives of both the children and their families. Eric and the many volunteers that have joined him regularly hand out equipment and supplies to paediatric departments. The items donated can range from game consoles to beds for accompanying adults, or even computers, books and objects such as coffee machines. The items provided are used by a total of some 15,000 children. To give the children a change of scenery and to get them out of their hospital rooms, the association also regularly takes them to watch sporting events such as Roland Garros. “Du Sport et Plus” has even formed several ties with sporting sponsors who give up their time to visit the children in hospital and lead workshops. They include driver and TV presenter Margot Laffite, driver Kévin Estre, three-time Paralympic athletics champion Marie-Amélie Le Fur, and tennis player Paul-Henri Mathieu, who joined the association in its very first months. “I have always been a fan of tennis and I used to play the sport myself,” explains Eric Friedrich. “That is why I wanted to find a tennis player to be a sponsor. I contacted ‘Paulo’ on Facebook as he is a player whom I admire and whose mentality I respect. We had only just formed the association and we didn't have a lot of funds, but in spite of that he joined the project straight away.” Despite being very much in demand, the player agreed to meet up with the founder. The two men hit it off from the very beginning. “The opportunity to help sick children was something that struck a particular chord with me. And to be there at the beginning of it all was also an influencing factor,” explained the player. But the former world number 12’s participation doesn't stop at simply lending his name and image; the player is also personally involved in the association year-round.
The “Du Sport et Plus” association, which is sponsored by Paul-Henri Mathieu, works for improving the everyday lives of children in hospital.
As well as visiting the children in hospital, he makes use of his many contacts from his professional life to find partners who could provide financial or material support. In 2013, he introduced Eric and “Du Sport et Plus” to the French Tennis Federation, which since then has invited a dozen children to watch Roland Garros each year. Last year, his involvement in the association also led Longines to make its donation. The Swiss watch company, which has always been dedicated to charitable causes and is a loyal patron of Stefanie Graf's Children for Tomorrow association and the Andre Agassi Foundation for Education, wanted to support an organisation that was linked to tennis and the sporting world in general. In addition to the cheque for € 10,000, the winged hourglass brand invited a dozen children to watch the Longines Paris Eiffel Jumping and the Longines Masters of Paris. “Longines’ support provided a real helping hand for the association,” explained Eric Friedrich. “Financial support from companies, which makes up 80% of our funding, is vital for ‘Du Sport et Plus’, which is led by volunteers.” This was a definite ace for the association, which today provides equipment for ten paediatric departments – three more than the same time last year.
Summary
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