British Prime Minister David Cameron visits Fight for Peace Academy in Rio de Janeiro
The Fight for Peace Academy in Rio de Janeiro was honoured to receive a visit from British Prime Minister David Cameron on the morning of Friday 28 September. The Prime Minister came accompanied by four British Olympic athletes and medallists (the gold medal-winning boxers Anthony Joshua and Nicola Adams and the judokas Euan Barton and Gemma Gibbons) and got to know the headquarters of the project as well as the activities offered to children and young people in the local Complexo da Maré community. “This is an important project because it really helps people and provides them with a great future,” Mr Cameron said of Fight for Peace.
Aside from Mr Cameron, Luke Dowdney, Director and Founder of Fight for Peace also welcomed the Secretary of Sport and Leisure in the state of Rio de Janeiro, Márcia Lins, the Director of Laureus World Sports Academy, Edwin Moses, and the former Brazilian motor racing driver Emerson Fittipaldi, who has supported the project for years.
The Prime Minister arrived at Fight for Peace following a short tour through the streets of the local community at the side of children and young people from the project. During the visit of the building, Mr Cameron attended training sessions and presentations of boxing, capoeira, judo, taekwondo, luta livre (wrestling) and jiu-jitsu. Whilst meeting pupils from Fight for Peace’s education classes, Mr Cameron said that he would be seeing Brazilian President Dilma Roussef in the afternoon and asked for suggestions of questions that he could ask her.
“It was a great honour to have the Prime Minister, the Secretary for Sport & Leisure Márcia Lins and the Laureus Academy here at Fight for Peace today. Mr Cameron was very open to listen to our young people telling him of the challenges that they face on a daily basis as well as learning about how Fight for Peace has been working here for the last 12 years, helping and offering opportunities to children and young people,” said Luke Dowdney.
“We are happy that the mortality rate by gunfire has been lowering here in Rio de Janeiro since 2006. But we still believe that there is much to do to further reduce the level of armed violence. As I discussed with the Prime Minister and the Secretary of Sport & Leisure, sport for development and access to education and work opportunities are so important in the question of public safety in relation to policing. More and more we need to see real opportunities offered to our young people so they can improve their lives and create a more unified city. We believe that working together we can achieve this goal. Events like the 2014 World Cup & the Rio 2016 Olympics, if used correctly, can be catalysts for true social change in this way. But this depends on real community work – forever, and not just for one event,” he concluded.
For more photos of the visit, please see our latest photo gallery.