18.06.2012 - UNESCO Office in Brasilia

Authorities participating in Rio+20 visit Criança Esperança Programme in a favela of Rio de Janeiro

© UNESCO/ Isabel de Paula- Jairo Coutinho, Pilar Alvarez-Laso, Cecile Golden, Fábio Eon

Pilar Alvarez-Laso, Assistant Director-General of UNESCO Social and Human Sciences Sector, visited the project at Morro Cantagalo (Cantagalo Hill).

Authorities that are in Brazil to attend the Rio+20 - UN Conference on Sustainable Development, are visiting  the Espaço Criança Esperança (ECE) this week, This centre of Criança Esperança Project assists 2 thousand children and young people in the favela (slum) called Morro Cantagalo in Rio de Janeiro.

On Monday (18 June), the project received the visit of the Assistant Director-General of UNESCO Social and Human Sciences Sector, Pilar Alvarez Laso. On Friday (22 June) Yoo Soon-taek, wife of the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, will also visit the Project’s centre run by TV Globo in partnership with UNESCO.

"This is a great place for innovation, harmony and compromise. It is a window of opportunity, where imagination and will make the transformation, "said Pilar, while visiting  the premises of Criança Esperança in Rio, in the company of the project officers Cecile Golden, from UNESCO headquarters, and Fabio Eon,  from the Brazilian office. The UNESCO delegation was received by Jairo Coutinho, coordinator of the Espaço Criança Esperança, and Natalia Leme and Fernanda de La Rocque, from the Division of Social Responsibility of Globo TV.

Jairo Coutinho stressed the importance of UNESCO joining partnership in 2004: "UNESCO's entry brought the willingness of working an integration between Education and Human Rights with children and young people and added knowledge to the project."

The Criança Esperança Programme, a Globo TV initiative in partnership with UNESCO since 2004, is a social mobilization programme aiming at transforming the future of vulnerable children and young people. Since the partnership with UNESCO was first set up, 450 projects have been selected. Every year, a large campaign mobilizes Brazilians who donate to support social projects in all five regions of Brazil. UNESCO selected 114 social projects that will be supported by Criança Esperança in 2012, benefitting over 60 thousand children, youths and young people throughout Brazil.

The programme was created in 1986 by Globo TV, the largest Brazilian broadcasting network that reaches 86.33% of Brazil’s 5,564 municipalities, to raise awareness on children’s rights motivating them to hope for a better future. Since then five thousand projects have benefited over four million children and young people in every corner of Brazil.

nce a year, a live show is produced and broadcasted at prime time where artists and celebrities advocate for the programme. The show is structured around a central theme, such as Education, Human Rights, Cultural Diversity. The fundraising campaign lasts one month and, through thousands of TV spots, the public is invited to donate by phone directly to UNESCO. The show is the culminating event and the campaign as a whole receives large audience ratings. This makes Criança Esperança one of the most visible and recognized social programmes in Brazil.

Over the last years, several prominent corporations joined the programme. Moreover, Criança Esperança is often featured and used as a reference in news, documentaries, interviews and even entertainment shows creating opportunities to keep themes related to childhood and adolescence high in the public agenda.

Every year, through an innovative public selection process, the Social and Human Sciences sector of UNESCO Brasilia Office selects projects submitted by NGOs. They not only receive financial support, but also programmatic advice from the Office’s team, setting in motion a process of knowledge transfer. Many of these initiatives are local responses to minimize problems and to induce the improvement of public policies. Moreover they also reinforce local leaderships.

Project proposals are analyzed based on national and international norms, whereby the child and adolescent are seen as being society's greatest asset. Although projects can be supported by Criança Esperança for up to two years, priority is given to those that show evidence of sustainability. Another priority is on offering technical and vocational training to young people.

In 2011, the Criança Esperança programme supported 75 local projects, benefitting 20 thousand children and adolescents.

Criança Esperança official website (in Portuguese)

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