In 1998, the 16th Fifa World Cup was held in France on 10 June to 12 July. The year was a highlight for France who won the Cup against Brazil with a final score of 3-0. Some 80,000 spectators were there to watch the event.

The same year, two former Brazilian football players, Raï and Leonardo, began working in favour of children and young people from socially vulnerable communities. So as France defeated Brazil, the Gol de Letra Foundation was formed in Brazil. A non-governmental organisation, Gol de Letra devises social and educational methods and knowledge ranging from cultural, sports and leisure activities as well as workshops on employment to support young children and adolescents from the favelas. Recognised as a model organisation by UNESCO in 2001, today nearly 4,600 children and young people aged 6 to 30 in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo benefit from the comprehensive education programs that contribute to their personal, social and cultural development. 

Gol de Letra, a partner of the Societe Generale Foundation

At a call for project submissions in June 2017, Gol de Letra applied for a subsidy from the Societe Generale Foundation to pursue its work on the Jogo Aberto (or Open Game in Portuguese). The Jogo Aberto program offers social and educational learning through sport and leisure to young people aged 8 to 18 living in Vila Albertina, Sao Paulo. The educational component is based on two fundamental principles: offering sports education to all individuals regardless of their abilities, gender and physical conditions, and playing sport in a spontaneous way without a professional objective. The focus isn’t really on sport and leisure as such. Instead the activities are used to pass on values and encourage these young people to become more independent and use their free time better. With the involvement of the families in their schooling and social development, it is also a means for them to reintegrate into their communities. 

Gol de Letra has already established ties with Societe Generale through the support given by our locally based Societe Generale Instituto in Brazil. Between 2008-2016, the Instituto not only provided lasting financial support but also called on its employees through a sponsorship program focusing on skills and volunteer actions. Convinced of the effectiveness of group sports and cultural activities to bring these young people out of exclusion, the Societe Generale Foundation has taken over the reins and is reinforcing cultural exchanges between the two entities from different backgrounds.

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