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December 28, 2006

Ronaldinho launches Institute to help Brazilian kids

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Ronaldinho has a good hearth and a lot of faith in the young people of his country. That's why he has launched an institute in Porte Alegre, Brazil, to help disadvantaged kids through sports and education, an initiative that shows the way forward in global development, a senior UN official announced.

“I'm sure that with this institute, that dream of helping the most vulnerable children and youth in Porto Alegre has come true,” Barcelona's star expressed at Wednesday’s launch.

It's good to know that the United Nations are cooperating with the institute and will provide technical advice and assist in recruiting professionals before the programme begins next March, as it shows the power of sport to help nations reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a set of targets to slash poverty and other global ills by 2015, according to the Organization.

“The United Nations praises Ronaldinho Gaucho for creating this new initiative that shows how sport can help to improving the lifestyle of children and young people and progress towards achieving the MDGs,” stated Djibril Diallo, Director of the Office of Sport for Development and Peace (UNOSDP), in a statement on behalf of Adolf Ogi, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on the exact same issue.

Indeed, the "Ronaldinho Gaúcho Institute" has a main goal: to provide poor children and youth access to education, health care and cultural activities, with a capacity of 3,500 youngsters a month. It's important to see that these kids will take part in football, tennis and other sports, as well as attending workshops on information technology, languages, theatre, music and other classes. What's more, the institute will also offer dental treatment.

The Brazilian footballer met with Secretary-General Kofi Annan and was appointed UN Spokesperson for Sport for Development and Peace in August 2006 by UNOSDP, which is cooperating with his initiative on behalf of the world body. He also serves as a UN World Food Programme (WFP) Ambassador Against Hunger.

“I think that if a young person develops his or her talent in sport through the project, then that is amazing. However, this is not our main focus. We want to create opportunities for growth and education,” expressed Roberto Assis de Moreira, brother of Ronaldinho and Executive President of the new organization.

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