Brazil is preparing to host the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. It is the perfect time for International Inspiration to support local authorities in highlighting the importance of physical education (PE), sport and play for children and young people.
'It is better to get involved in volunteering rather than drugs on the streets. I encourage people to get involved in International Inspiration. It’s full of good experiences and can help you achieve your own goals.’Cibele, 18
International Inspiration is active in Brazil’s north-eastern region, where 13 million children live. Efforts are focused on providing opportunities to play sport to a population that has few qualified PE teachers and sports facilities in schools.
Reasons to celebrate
- More than 700,000 children and young people have been joined the programme since 2007.
- There has been an increase in the number of PE teachers by up to 80% in 13 of the 26 local authorities where the programme is active.
- More than 32,000 children took part in 40 sports festivals across the region in 2009. Half of these children came from deprived rural areas.
Changing national policies
International Inspiration is supporting ‘Segundo Tempo’, a national after-school scheme which focuses on sporting activities. Through this project, four million young people from disadvantaged backgrounds who would otherwise not have the opportunity to access sport will benefit by 2016. With the support of local authorities, children and young people are now able to enjoy their right to play and experience better PE classes and sport. What’s more, through a project initiated by the GLA and the Youth Sport Trust, the Segundo Tempo model is being piloted in London.
Making sport available to all children
International Inspiration is working in close collaboration with local municipal governments to create inclusive sports opportunities available to all children. For example, in April 2009, the Municipality of Pesqueira, in the State of Pernambuco, adopted a new policy to make PE compulsory in schools. This meant that for the first time in their lives 5,500 children in 14 elementary schools had access to PE and school sport.
Reaching disadvantaged children
A major Brazilian non-governmental organisation (NGO), the Sport and Education Institute (IEE), will be embedding International Inspiration Youth Sport Leadership training within its own social inclusion projects. This will reach more than 80,000 of the most disadvantaged Brazilian young people.
Bringing communities together
Thanks to International Inspiration, the rural municipality of Pedra now has its first professional PE teacher, Joao Batiste Filho. As the local sports coordinator, Joao is working hard to bring opportunities to some of the municipality’s most disadvantaged rural communities, where many young people have never had the chance to play sports like volleyball, basketball or handball.
By organizing sports festivals, Joao is determined to tackle some of the problems affecting young people in the region: including child labour, low aspirations and high drop-out rates from school. To make sure the ripple effect from this programme spreads far and wide, Joao is also designing a series of workshops to share what he has learned with teachers at every school in Pedra.
Playing school sport for the first time
Charles Albuquerque, 28, from Igaci has found a new lease of life thanks to the International Inspiration programme. As a young person living with a disability and coming from a poor family, he originally thought his opportunities in life would be limited. However, thanks to the programme, Charles now works with around 800 children who had never played sports in school before, inspiring them to learn about new sports and making sure that they have the chance to try them out.
International Inspiration has given Charles the opportunity to attend workshops and focus on new sports. This is leaving a legacy as Charles is using these new skills in three communities with good results – he has been invited by his local authority to work with children in local schools.
Charles said: 'My economic situation, nor my dyslexia or physical disability prevented me from becoming the professional I am today. On the contrary - the difficulties I faced in my life made me even more motivated and committed towards children's right to play sports. I am very proud to be part of the International Inspiration initiative.'