In an international effort to promote social transformation through sports, the city of Rio de Janeiro together with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the FC Barcelona Foundation and the National Basketball Association NBA, announced today an initiative to improve the lives of underprivileged children and youth in Rio de Janeiro.
Soccer superstar Ronaldo, NBA star Leandrinho Barbosa and Ana Moser, ex-volleyball player were also present to help celebrate the first step to a better future with the “Alliance for Sport and Development.”
This alliance will strengthen 18 ‘Vilas Olimpicas’ in Rio de Janeiro by promoting social inclusion through sports activities. The initiative will draw experiences from best practices by utilizing sports as a vehicle to improve the lives of children in need and promote physical activities for conflict resolution, violence prevention, education, health, among others.
According to the City of Rio, 140,000 people from the most vulnerable areas will be able to benefit from this project.
"The program of the Olympic villages developed by the Municipality will have a prominent role in the municipality’s overall policy of inclusion,” said Vice Mayor Carlos Alberto Muniz. “The arrival of diverse and knowledgeable partners consolidates the Olympic Village as the center of the political legacy that we have to develop, taking advantage of this prosperous moment for the City of Rio de Janeiro.”
“The project will contribute to the legacy of the World Cup and the Olympics and to an enduring development impact in Rio and in Brazil,” said IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno. “The IDB has helped train thousands of youths in our sports for development programs and we´ve seen how sports can help a community develop in an integral way.”
This initiative has brought together key partners, such as the Government of Korea. The project is also aligned with long term efforts in the Favelas by the city and state of Rio de Janeiro jointly with the IDB.
“We believe that FC Barcelona and its Foundation, together with regional and local counterparts such as the IDB, can develop very interesting projects in Latin America and the Caribbean, using football and its values as an excellent social tool” said Ramon Pont, Senior Vice-President of FC Barcelona Foundation. “We cannot ignore the need to provide a better future for the new generations in this region, we must work together to achieve this vital goal and football can bring children together and help strengthening local networks.”
“This alliance is a unique opportunity for us to connect with the youth in Rio de Janeiro and illustrate how the game of basketball can be a vehicle for positive social change,” said NBA Vice President for Latin America Philippe Moggio. “This initiative will help highlight the unifying nature of sports and promote the core values of our game – hard work, dedication, teamwork, and sportsmanship – which can help in the development of young people and have a lasting impact on communities.”
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), a leader in multilateral financing for Latin America and the Caribbean, has had a long relationship with the 12 Brazilian cities that will host the World Cup in 2014. From 2000 through to the World Cup, these cities will have received Bank investments of more than $10 billion. This partnership between the IDB and Brazil includes initiatives in urban development, transportation, sanitation, housing, and social programs.
The Futbol Club Barcelona Foundation was created in 1994. It aims to disseminate and encourage the culture of training, education, culture, and social life of the Futbol Club Barcelona team to society at large, focusing especially on adolescence and youth. Currently, its projects using mainly sports as a tool for social inclusion, reach more than 220,000 beneficiaries in the world.
The NBA, founded in 1946, is a professional sports league and global business that features 30 teams in the United States and Canada. During the 2010-11 season, NBA games will reach 215 countries and territories in more than 40 languages. Official NBA rosters currently feature 85 players from 41 countries and territories. NBA merchandise is sold in more than 125,000 stores in 100 countries on six continents. NBA.com averages more than 26 million page views per day, with more than 50 percent of the site’s visitors coming from outside of North America. The NBA is the No. 1 U.S. sports league on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, with the most fans, followers, and videos viewed on each, respectively. Through NBA Cares, the league, its teams and players have donated more than $150 million to charity, completed more than 1.5 million hours of hands-on community service, and created more than 560 places where kids and families can live, learn, or play.