With just under three months before the World Cup officially gets underway, the FC Barcelona Foundation launched a new FutbolNet project in Rio de Janeiro. Just like in previous iterations of the project in the South American country, the location of the new project is in a high conflict zone known known for child vulnerability, in the Complexo do Alemão neighbourhood.
Nearly 500 children between the ages of 6 and 17, who regularly take part in athletic activities at the Villa Olímpica Carlos Castilho, will take part in the project, which requires four hours of participation a week. The project will run for 34 weeks.
Educators from the Foundation made the trip to Rio at the start of March to start a series of courses for the new instructors that will lead the project. The initiative was well received by the professionals, who highlight the project’s originality and power of attract people due to Barça’s brand.
The Complexo do Alemão is a neighbourhood located to the north of Rio, and it neighbours various favelas. According to recent data, the human development index of Complexo is the lowest of Rio’s 126 neighborhoods. Approximately 90,000 people live in Complexo, and 26% of them are under the age of 15.
The Foundation’s objectives with this project is to educate children through positive values that are derived form sport, specifically football. The sessions are divided up into three phases: a discussion before a match where the instructor talks about a particular value the he/she wants the children to apply during the game, the game itself and a post-match discussion where the value itself is debated. FutbolNet focuses on six particular values: commitment, respect, tolerance, teamwork, responsibility and effort. In its application in Brazil a special emphasis has been placed on the values of respect and tolerance, the eradication of violence and the prevention of risky behavior. In addition, girls are also admitted to the program.
FutbolNet is applied in Brazil thanks to the partnership between the FC Barcelona Foundation has with the Interamerican Development Bank (BID) and it’s supported by the Mafre Foundation, the Prefeiture of Rio de Janeiro, the NBA, VISA and Colgate.