Happy New Year from the Global Rugby Collaborative! We are excited to announce our first Member of the Month for 2014, Rugby Para Toda Vida, “Rugby for Life”! Started by the Sao Lourenco Rugby Club, and headed by Hugo Froes, they began sharing their love of rugby with disadvantaged kids in southern Minas Gerais this time last year. Forced to suspend their services for several months due to permit issues, Rugby For Life resumed activities this past December with even greater energy and dedication.
The children served by Rugby Para Toda Vida call São Lourenço, Brazil home. Halfway between two major cities, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, it is one of the smallest municipalities in Brazil and well known as a tourist destination because of its natural beauty and abundant mineral waters. Despite these lavish surroundings many families experience harsh realities day to day, with problems at home. Rugby Para Toda Vida works directly with children who have been affected by the loss of a parent, drug trafficking, and poverty. Their needs are basic – from proper nutrition, education, and clothing, to simple care and affection. Working in partnership with the Casa dos Meninos, “House of Boys”, they provide food, shelter and supervision for out-of-school children while their parents work. Rugby Para Toda Vida seeks to offer many things beyond just rugby training – they want to encourage entrepreneurship and leadership skills, help improve their self-esteem and provide emotional support.
Rugby Para Toda Vida recently had a stake in one of the biggest youth rugby events in Brazil, SPAC Lions Kids Tournament, where their 10-12 year old boys participated. Most of the children had never traveled to Sao Paulo, and many had never been so far from home before. Froes says they all had positive experiences and he hopes they “will(…)remember the trip forever!” Giving children an opportunity to travel and have experiences outside their every day realities can be enough to positively change a child’s life. What a great show of rugby4good!
This coming year the Rugby Para Toda Vida teams hope to attend their first Children’s Festival and compete in an interscholastic championship. Like many rugby4good organizations Rugby Para Toda Vida is made possible by the generous support of the community and partner organizations. Rugby For Life would like to recognize their sponsors, Semes Eventos, EJR Arts and the Nestle Water Park.
We wish Rugby Para Toda Vida continued success in the coming year!