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UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Danny Glover addresses Brazilian education award ceremony

© UNICEF Brazil/2005/Page
UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Danny Glover and UNICEF Representative in Brazil Marie-Pierre Poirier with a representative of Apoitchá, winner of the Itaú-UNICEF Award 2005. A Brazilian NGO, Apoitchá supports vulnerable children in poor communities through after-school activities.

By Kent Page

SÃO PAULO, Brazil, 1 December 2005 – “The education of our children cannot be overlooked anywhere in the world, no matter how rich or poor the country,” said UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Danny Glover during his address at the Banco Itaú-UNICEF Brazil Awards in São Paulo. “Education makes our children better citizens, not only for their own country, but for the world, and it is partnerships with a vision – like that of Itaú-UNICEF – that can transform us and help create the type of societies that we are all capable of imagining and believing in.”

Banco Itaú-UNICEF Brazil Award

The Banco Itaú-UNICEF Brazil ‘Education & Participation’ Award is the result of a successful collaboration in education between UNICEF Brazil and Banco Itaú – one of the world’s largest private banks. Every 2 years the ceremony honours non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working to ensure every child’s right to a quality education in Brazil.

This year over 1,680 projects were submitted for consideration, compared with 400 in 1994, the first year of the award ceremony.

Banco Itaú awards the 1st place project with a prize of $44,000; 2nd place receives $31,000 and 3rd $22,000. The money is then reinvested back into the projects. A total of 30 projects, representing every region in Brazil, become award winners at the ceremony. Over $200,000 in prize money was distributed at the event. The winners also receive a computer and printer to help improve project efficiency.

© UNICEF Brazil/2005/Milla Petrilla
Brazilian children like this young girl benefit from UNICEF-supported education and after-school activities throughout the country.

Boosting education projects throughout Brazil

The Award has had a positive impact on education projects throughout Brazil. This makes a big difference in a country where 97 per cent of children go to school, but where every year nearly 800,000 children reach 4th grade not knowing how to read or write.

The award has become a national reference for improving Brazilian education policies. It is part of a broader strategy to guarantee children’s rights and promote social mobilization to help implement efficient public policies for education.

The Brazilian NGO ‘Apoitchá’ was the first place winner at the award ceremony. With  UNICEF support Apoitchá provides more than 100 children in the rural area of Paraíba State, in north-eastern Brazil, with after-school activities that help children deal with the trauma of sexual exploitation and/or domestic abuse.

Activities include music and art classes, sports, and access to a community library. Apoitchá is also part of a network of organizations that offer psychosocial support for children and their families in poor communities in Brazil.

Banco Itaú raises over $14 million for education

The alliance between Banco Itaú and UNICEF Brazil was established in 1994 to improve the lives of Brazilian children and young people by ensuring their right to quality ducation.

In 1994 Banco Itaú and UNICEF Brazil launched an investment and capitalization plan managed by Banco Itaú, in which part of the profit obtained through individual investors was converted into monthly contributions to UNICEF Brazil over 5 years.

Since 1994 the investment plan has raised over $14 million for education projects in Brazil, helping ensure that increasing numbers of children and adolescents benefit from higher quality education and pedagogical practices.

World-renowned actor Danny Glover was appointed a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in 2004. In addition to hosting the Banco Itaú-UNICEF Brazil Awards 2005, he has ampaigned to ban landmines in Africa, raised funds for tsunami victims, chaired ‘Africa Unite’ in Ethiopia, and recorded public service announcements to support UNICEF’s UNITE FOR CHILDREN  UNITE AGAINST AIDS campaign.



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