To play soccer in Norway is just one of the motivations offered to the youngsters of the Alunorte Rain Forest teams.
The Alunorte Rain Forest soccer program is part of a larger project that involves the promotion of education and good behavior.
The “Bola pra Frente, Educação pra Gente” program – Ahead with the ball and education for us – uses soccer to drive the students toward education.
A better future
Participation in the project allows for an improvement in soccer performance, a chance to travel to Europe and also to plan for a better future.
“The soccer skills are important, but to have good performance at school is paramount to whoever desires to be part of the team,” says Alberto Martins Müller, the project coordinator and coach of the boys’ team.
The project starts at the beginning of classes, and throughout the year the students participate in lectures, expositions and an educational contest in parallel to the preliminary tournaments where athletes are chosen for the teams.
At the final game, 18 girls and 18 boys are selected to be part of the teams that go to Norway.
Using an “Ask & Question” game, the educational award chooses the students who will be part of the entourage from Barcarena that goes to Norway.
Besides watching the ARF games and being in contact with the Norwegian culture, the winners of the educational award also have to face a challenge: to establish a parallel between the realities found in Europe and the Barcarena communities.
The environmental subject for this project in 2011 is related to the kind of forest that borders the rivers, a very common element of the local landscape.
This year, three students were chosen as the best ones in Barcarena. Ériça Kawaguichi, Lena Guimarães and Helisandra Pires will be the responsible for presenting the result of their research to the schools and to the communities.
According to Müller, “The goal with such research is to identify social and environmental improvements that can be brought to the city.” The result of the research will be presented in a local forum involving schools, communities and political authorities from Barcarena.
Besides that, the project is helping on the establishment of the School Agenda 21, consisting in educational and environmental preservation actions based on the Global 21 Agenda developed by the United Nations.
“The teachers from Barcarena have been trained and now the participants of the project will go through the same training to assure additional support for the establishment of the committees responsible for the environmental education activities in the schools,” Müller says.