The Brazilian and Mozambican Ministers of Sports, Agnelo Queiroz and Joel Matias Libombo, signed an agreement to implant two Brazilian social programs, “Second Period” and “Painting Freedom,” in Mozambique. Both program promote social inclusion through sports.
“Second Period” (Segundo Tempo) provides public school students at the fundamental and secondary level support for the practice of athletic activities, meals, educational reinforcement, sports equipment, and notions of health and hygiene, during the hours they are not attending class.
“Painting Freedom” (Pintando a Liberdade) is aimed at the resocialization and professionalization of prison inmates through the use of their labor to manufacture sports equipment.
The partnership agreement signed by the two countries, October 3, includes the donation of 250 balls, 2,000 uniforms, 1,000 pairs of sneakers, and equipment for a ball factory to be set up in the Mozambican capital, Maputo.
In Brazil, the Painting Freedom program has 62 units in which 12.7 thousand prison inmates are employed producing sports equipment.
They receive a salary, as well as a day’s reprieve for each three days worked. The material they produce is donated to public schools.
900 thousand balls have already been produced this year for use in field soccer, indoor soccer, and basketball. 18 million public school students are currently being benefitted.
The inmates learn to manufacture other sporting goods, such as nets, table tennis paddles, banners, knapsacks, and uniforms.
The raw materials used by the Painting Freedom production units are of equal quality to those used by commercial brand name companies, and the products wind up costing less than half the price.
A ball made by a inmate costs US$ 6 (17 reais), on the average, while private enterprise sometimes sells the same product for more than US$ 14 (40 reais).
The other program that will be adopted in Mozambique, the Second Period, will initially take care of a thousand children and adolescents from poor areas on the outskirts of Maputo.
According to the Mozambican Minister of Sports, Joel Libombo, the initiative will restore the self-esteem of the children and their parents, all of them left traumatized by the civil war that rived the country until 12 years ago.
“The program will also contribute to improving the quality of life of future generations,” Libombo said.
In Brazil, the Second Period is conducted in partnership with municipal and state schools, as well as civil society.
The students spend their free time engaged in athletic and cultural activities and educational reinforcement classes.
In addition, the children receive meals and transportation. The program currently serves 800 thousand children and adolescents.
The goal is to attain three million youngsters by 2006. According to a survey made by the Ministry of Sports, students who participate in the Second Period perform better in school and feel more motivated.
This reduces the dropout rate at the schools that are involved. The data also indicate that the indices of violence, child labor, and malnutrition are lower in the areas where the program is in operation.
Translator: David Silberstein