ACER is one of the few organisations working to protect children and guarantee their rights, through innovative projects, reaching out to Diadema and neighbouring communities.
We support their Football and Citizenship programmes. This project uses sports, particularly football, to help children change their stories – from stories determined by their background and society about who they are and what they can achieve to stories of overcoming challenges and realising their potential. The project aims to increase their expectations of achieving something positive with their lives, to engage them in school, and to reduce drop-out rates, with the objective of reducing drug use, crime and prostitution. Children and young people become active agents of change in their communities, with the support of positive mentors.
In just over 3 years, the project revitalised three sporting facilities in the community and offered regular sporting and recreational activities to over 900 girls and boys, with extremely low drop-out rates. By using a powerful and unique methodology in Brazil, it succeeded in re-engaging children in school and young people in training and work.
A highlight in 2014 was the recognition of the project as a reference for sport for change in Brazil, with the visit of Prince Harry during the World Cup.
In 2015, ACER has started training PE teachers of the Young Offenders System of the state of Sao Paulo, indirectly reaching 10,000 young people in conflict with the law.
Diadema is one of the most densely populated cities in Brazil, where 41% of the population is younger than 18. The region is characterized by high poverty levels, social vulnerability and violence and there are few effective public services or community organizations. The city faces serious drug-trafficking problems and gang violence. For young people, there is a lack of access to good education and prospects for the future are low. Children have a general lack of belief that they can achieve something positive with their lives, so aren't dedicated in school, and drop-out rates are high often leading to crime.
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