On 25 September 2015, the United Nations (UN) approved 17 goals aimed at putting an end to poverty, protecting the planet and guaranteeing prosperity for all as part of a new sustainable development agenda. Each goal has certain targets that are to be met until 2030. The work of Laureus Sport for Good is concerned with the depicted 6 out of a total of 17 goals.
To change the world, we need to keep moving! With this in mind, the numerous Sport for Good projects on all continents pursue the long-term and shared goal of boosting children's self-confidence and making a contribution to mental and physical health, educational achievement and equality of opportunity. The participating children discover their talents and abilities and develop values such as discipline and single-mindedness – qualities that also help them in their everyday lives. Since its foundation, Laureus Sport for Good has sponsored over 200 projects committed to the fight against violence and discrimination. This has made it possible to improve the lives of millions of young people. Every programme supported by Laureus Sport for Good addresses on issues based on the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations (UN).
“Change the game for kids”: under this new claim, Mercedes-Benz is bundling its various activities to promote the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation. Co-founded by Mercedes-Benz in 2000, the Foundation promotes projects around the world whose declared aim is to offer a prospect to disadvantaged children and young people.
“Get kids off the street and transform their lives through sport.” is the impressive message of the film “Confessions” – combined with the appeal to become part of the Laureus Sport movement.
The film shows from a child’s perspective how the power of sport can teach children to believe in themselves, pursue their goals, overcome setbacks and take control of their own lives. This lends the film a special emotional force.
Since October 2002, Waves for Change has taught surfing as a sport in the townships of Masiphumelele in Cape Town, with the aim of promoting responsibility and teamwork. The purpose of the project is to encourage young people to consciously confront them with their disease HIV. Spokespeople are trained and equipped with the necessary tools to bring sport back into their social environment. In a sporting context, they promote a responsible approach to the problems associated with the spread of the virus. Laureus Sport for Good South Africa supports 16 projects across the entire country and, by 2016, had improved the lives of over 90,000 young people.
Many young Germans are immigrants or come from a disadvantaged social background; most of them have few future prospects. Access to education is often limited; they lack the possibilities to discover their strengths and develop their potential – both personally and professionally. The KICKFORMORE project helps young people develop a positive attitude to life through sport. KICKFORMORE uses football as a common meeting point for young people to confront their problems. Since 2001, Laureus Sport for Good has helped over 50,000 young people in Germany and Austria through training and education.
Participant in the Laureus-funded Luta Pela Paz project in Complexo da Mare in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.
Many young Brazilians are affected by crime, violence and social exclusion. Laureus began its work in Brazil in 2004 by supporting the Luta Pela Paz project. It combines martial arts with education and personal development. Luta Pela Paz (Fight for Peace) promotes the personal potential of young people and helps with their full integration into society. The holistic methodology of the “five pillars” focuses on boxing and martial arts, education, employability, social support and assumption of management responsibility. The children are given new prospects in their country.
At high schools in the Bronx, young people are often led astray, join gangs and become involved in violence. With Fight Back, Laureus Sport for Good helps local organisations to develop sports programmes that lead to positive social developments among disadvantaged or marginalised young people in terms of their health and education. Martial arts are a tool for solving problems such as obesity and juvenile violence. Since 2013, Laureus USA has trained and deployed over 1,000 instructors in local community programmes and thereby reached 180,000 young people.
Young people stretching at the Fight Back project at the Mary Mitchell Family & Youth Center in New York City.
Laureus World Sports Academy members Tanni Grey-Thompson (former wheelchair racer from Great Britain) and Kapil Dev (former cricketer from India) spend time with young people at the IMAGE programme in Jhodpur, India.
Many Indian children with handicaps are excluded from education, health services, transport or jobs. The IMAGE project in partnership with Laureus has brought these young people greater integration, education and prospects for their future. Non-handicapped young people visit handicapped young people at schools and do sport with them, help each other and learn from one another. Cricket, table tennis, volleyball, basketball – the children seize every opportunity. Sport takes them forward and integrates them into society. They are no longer vilified – they are now known as the “bhaiyas” and “diddis” (the brothers and sisters) of IMAGE.