FIFA has teamed up with two Brazilian football legends to announce more than $3million for social projects around the world - with a large portion going to education programmes in Brazil.
The funding was revealed as Jérôme Valcke, secretary-general of the world football governing body, and former Brazilian football stars Cafu and Bebeto (pictured above) visited Bola Pra Frente, an organisation that harnesses the inspiring power of football to motivate children to learn. Bola Pra Frente means "Ball Forward" – a Brazilian expression similar to "play on".
It will receive a total of $800,000 from FIFA’s Football for Hope programme, with Brazil hosting the World Cup this summer. Cafu and Bebeto are avid supporters of Bola Pra Frente and helped to promote the organisation’s motto of "education through football".
During the visit to the organisation, Valke said: “What football can bring is hope." He added: “We must use football as an educational tool — kids are the future of the world."
Bola Pra Frente is one of 25 organisations in Brazil and more than 100 worldwide that will receive funding from FIFA this year to promote projects related to education, health and social inclusion.
With the World Cup starting in June, education has gradually taken a more prominent place in the legacy FIFA hopes to leave behind once the big event is over.
Last year, the Brazilian government announced a plan to build several new schools in the nation’s capital using left over material from the construction of a football stadium.
But many feel that not enough attention has been paid to education in lead up to the World Cup. FIFA has announced that it will release more details regarding a $20million World Cup Legacy Trust in March.
The sentiment in Brazil today is overwhelming that the more investments are made in areas such as education and health, the better the Word Cup will be.
Picture: Former Brazilian footballers Cafu and Bebeto/Rede Globo