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Press release

German Chancellor Angela Merkel visits more than 150 children participating in a ‘sports for development’ focused project in Brazil

The project is organized by German development cooperation actors, the German Football Association, Municipality of Salvador da Bahia and UNICEF Brazil partner, Institute Fazer Acontecer

SALVADOR/BRASILIA, Brazil, 16 June 2014 - One hundred and fifty children and adolescents from communities in Salvador and neighboring municipalities welcomed today’s visit by German Chancellor Angela Merkel to the Boca do Rio beach-side sports field in Salvador.

The girls and boys are participating in the ‘Festival da Bola’ being held in Salvador, Rio de Janeiro, Recife and Porto Alegre from 9 June to 13 July. ‘Festival da Bola’ is the result of an ongoing ‘sports for development’ project commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) - implemented by the Deutsche German Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH - with the municipalities of these cities and local civil society organizations.

In Salvador, partners of the initiative are the City of Salvador and Instituto Fazer Acontecer (IFA), a UNICEF partner in the promotion of safe, educational and inclusive sport. IFA, which began in 2004, serves over 500 young people between the ages of 10 and 18 in Salvador and throughout Bahia and uses a methodology developed by Street Football World.

IFA is UNICEF partner through the Youth and Adolescent Network for the Right to Sport (REJUPE). The REJUPE initiative was created by UNICEF to encourage the participation of adolescents to exchange experiences through the promotion of the right to inclusive sport.
The German-led ‘sports for development’ project builds on the experience gained from the successful ‘Youth Development through Football’ project in South Africa and lessons learned in pilot projects implemented around the world by German development cooperation actors, which help improve networks between actors and strengthen international cooperation.

In Brazil, the right to sports is recognized by law. However, not all children and adolescents have access to sport with only one in three elementary schools in the country having a sports field. In the North and Northeast regions, the ratio is even lower with only one in ten schools with sports facilities.

For UNICEF, sport contributes to the realization of other rights including: learning in school; developing healthy attitudes; promoting non-violence; fostering conflict management; and, combatting prejudice present in the lives of thousands of boys and girls.

For these reasons, UNICEF works with children’s passion for sport to promote safe and inclusive sport for all children and adolescents through two initiatives under the global umbrella of Team UNICEF (#TeamUNICEF):
    • ‘We Can Be Even Better’, the Brazilian national campaign launched last week.
    • ‘Vamos Jogar’ (#VamosJogar), the Latin America and Caribbean regional initiative
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. To learn more about UNICEF and its work, visit www.unicef.org
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For more information, please contact:
Communication Advisor of UNICEF in Brazil
Alexandre Amorim, Tel: +55 61 3035 1947, Mobile: +55 61 8166 1636, aamorim@unicef.org
Jill Van den Brule, Tel: +55 61 3035 1944, jvandenbrule@unicef.org





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