Former Brazil star Leila Barros supports UNODC initiative


Former Brazil women’s national team star and Olympic medallist Leila Barros promotes UNODC initiative to prevent youth crime and drug use

Lausanne, Switzerland, December 13, 2016 – Former Brazil women’s national team star and Olympic medallist Leila Barros pledged her commitment to support the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) initiative to utilise sports as a tool to prevent crime and drug use among youth in her hometown Brasilia.

The UNODC and the Government of the Federal District of Brasilia signed a new joint agreement to implement a youth sports programme, which could help the youth of Brasilia.

Barros, who is Brasilia’s sports and leisure secretary, stressed that she was raised in a poor community of the federal district and that sport helped her overcome obstacles in her life. She highlighted that sport is a tool for personal transformation and character building for children and adolescents.

“Sport teaches us how to live with differences, to learn the value of others, to respect others and to deal with frustrations daily,” Barros said.

High-level authorities from the Federal District and the international community, including First Lady Marcia Rollemberg and public safety secretary Marcia de Alencar attended the signing ceremony, which was held at Brasilia’s World Cup Stadium.

The signing ceremony was preceded by visits of UNODC crime and drug use prevention experts to a number of sports facilities and discussions with relevant authorities to prepare the ground for testing and piloting the newly developed sports-based life skills training and related activities, including sports events.

Brazil is the first country where the programme will be rolled out. Activities in other countries in the region, as well as in Asia and Southern Africa are scheduled to start in 2017.

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