For the first time in World Cup history, beneficiaries of social programs and indigenous populations are receiving 50,000 tickets to watch World Cup matches. The Brazilian federal government has distributed 48,000 tickets donated by FIFA to students of full-time public schools and beneficiaries of social programs in the 12 host cities of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil, with 2,000 others to be distributed amongst the country’s indigenous population.
In the 12 host cities, 901 public schools were selected by a random draw based on the national lottery. Selected students in each school received two tickets to watch the match accompanied by an adult.
The majority of students at selected schools live in socially vulnerable situations, and are part of the Mais Educação (“More Education”) program. The program, coordinated by the Brazilian Ministry of Education, aims to increase the number of hours in the standard school day to up to seven.
“We are making a big bet in full-time schooling in Brazil”, said Tereza Campello, Brazil’s Minister of Social Development and Fight Against Hunger, during a press conference at the João Saldanha Open Media Centre at the Forte de Copacabana (Rio de Janeiro). “Education is one of the biggest drivers of transformation in people’s lives.”
The Ministry of Social Development and the Fight Against Hunger works in conjunction with the Ministry of Education to ensure that the program gives priority to schools with students in the most vulnerable situations. The federal government uses the registry of the Bolsa Família program to detect schools with a majority of beneficiaries and encourages students to join full-time schooling.
As a result, the number of schools with a majority of Bolsa Família beneficiary students who adhered to the “More Education” program increased by a factor of six between 2011 and 2013: in 2013, of the 48,500 schools that adhered to the More Education program, 31,700 had Bolsa Família beneficiary students as the majority.
Campello added that one important indicator is the rate of students at the age of 15 in the correct grade of their school journey: it has increased from 30% to more than 50% since 2002. “These youngsters being in the classroom is what guarantees Brazil will be another country in 10 years. These young men and women being in the classroom is what will prove that there has been a structural reduction of inequality. Inequality is not just an income and poverty phenomenon.
The structural transformations we are creating in Brazil are much deeper-rooted, and will allow us to see our country in a completely different manner,” she said.
Two Brazilian students who won free World Cup tickets
São Paulo - The Ulysses Guimarães Municipal Elementary School in Parelheiros, on the outskirts of São Paulo (SP), was one of the schools selected by the draw. A total of eleven of its students received free tickets to watch the World Cup opening game (Brazil vs. Croatia). Henrique Eduardo da Silva, 16, is a Bolsa Família beneficiary and was one of the winners. His family has five people, all living on the R$ 800 per month that his father, Antonio da Silva, earns at a car wash. Their income is supplemented by R$ 112 in monthly transfers from the Bolsa Família program.
Brasilia - Tayhane Rodrigues da Silva (picture), 9, was also selected in the draw. She is crazy about football, and one of the few girls who plays football in her school. Tayhane lives in Águas Lindas (GO), in the vicinity of the national capital, and practices football at the 407 Norte Elementary School in Brasília (DF), both during recess and as part of physical education classes under the More Education Program. The daughter of a waste picker and a cleaning lady, she chose her father to accompany her to the Mané Garrincha National Stadium to watch the match between Brazil and Cameroon today (23 June) in Brasília.
The 48,000 tickets were distributed to students in the twelve host cities as follows
Belo Horizonte - 43 schools, 2,228 tickets to students
Brasília - 27 schools, 1,344 tickets to students
Cuiabá - 109 schools, 7,016 tickets to students
Curitiba - 124 schools, 7,556 tickets to students
Fortaleza - 146 schools, 7,282 tickets to students
Manaus - 36 schools, 1,782 tickets to students
Natal - 57 schools, 2,812 tickets to students
Porto Alegre - 116 schools, 5,824 tickets to students
Recife - 113 schools, 5,674 tickets to students
Rio de Janeiro - 11 schools, 524 tickets for students
Salvador - 76 schools, 3,836 tickets to students
São Paulo - 43 schools, 2,122 tickets to students