15 May 2018 - As part of its global efforts to promote sports in preventing youth crime, UNODC offers support, through grants, to local initiatives undertaken by select non-governmental organizations. One of these was recently launched in Rio de Janeiro's neighbourhood of Cidade de Deus , where gang violence has been a major problem leading young people into crime, violence and drug use.
Instituto Companheiros das Américas (ICA), a Brazilian NGO, is rolling out a programme that connects sports to employability and entrepreneurial skills training for at-risk youth. The initiative aims to equip young people with the skills necessary to enter the labour market, or to re-enter the formal education system, thus strengthening their resilience to crime and violence while simultaneously supporting the community as a whole.
As part of its programme, ICA will use UNODC's life skills training methodology, Line Up, Live Up, which addresses specific risk factors for crime and drug-use. 50 youngsters enrolled in the initiative at the beginning of the year, and will continue to receive training for the next six months.
Last month, ICA and the Network on Sport for Social Change joined several NGOs active in the same domain, such as URECE Sport and Culture, Instituto Reação, Instituto Rumo Náutico, Instituto Promundo, and Fundação Gol de Letra. This brought together numerous young people, including the youth from Cidade de Deus enrolled in the ICA-led initiative, for a day of active fun on the occasion of the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace.
Additional activities are planned over the next few months through UNODC's Small Grants Initiative in Brazil, with various local NGOs. Amongst these is the Assis Chateaubriand Foundation, which will provide psychological counselling to marginalized youth in selected sport centres in Brasilia, while training them to become football referees.
In another upcoming initiative, Rumo Náutico will engage at-risk youth in Rio de Janeiro with a 'Boats as Instruments of Education' event promoting educational sport, and sailing in particular, as an educational tool to build the resilience of marginalized youth.