I experienced a very touching case in a favela in Gravatá, a city in northeastern Brazil with around 70,000 inhabitants.

I experienced a very touching case in a favela in Gravatá, a city in northeastern Brazil with around 70,000 inhabitants.

Which case do you particularly remember? Velik: I experienced a very touching case in a favela in Gravatá, a city in northeastern Brazil with around 70,000 inhabitants. There the Don Bosco sisters, who are project partners of “” Jugend Eine Welt “”, introduced me to Murilo, who is about eight years old and who comes to their youth center every day. His sister was kidnapped, raped, and murdered when she was seven. The remaining seven siblings were raised by their aunt because their mother couldn’t cope with the whole thing. In 2013 Murilo’s brother died of a drug overdose at the age of 18. We visited the family who lived in dire circumstances. We met the mother, the children and finally the grandmother. When I talked to my grandmother, I thought to myself: “” The poor woman. How do you cope with all of this, the living conditions and the tragic family history. “” And it seemed to me as if she had heard my thoughts because less than five seconds later she was leaning on my shoulder crying. The memory of it is still very, very moving for me today. But the bitter poverty in the favela is unfortunately a reality. In order to avoid such fates, I am committed to the people there. With our project, little Murilo has a chance to escape the cycle of poverty and violence.

© Jugend Eine Welt Many street children clean their shoes in order to survive.

NEWS.AT: The controversial police operations to “” pacify “” the favelas keep making headlines. What do the local residents think of such actions by the authorities? Velik: The operations already make a big difference. Bad boys say goodbye, but there’s still plenty of drugs left. And of course it’s a kind of repression and “” pacification “” is a double-edged sword in a way. In the Jacarezinho favela (one of the largest slums in Rio; editor’s note), where our Don Bosco partners have been active for 45 years, the police operations have shown positive effects. The residents of the favela say that they are much safer traveling since the police presence was there. So it always depends on how this “” pacification “” is approached.

NEWS.AT: To what extent have you as “” Jugend Eine Welt “” employee been in a dangerous situation due to the crime in the slums? Velik: In principle, it is not that dangerous because the residents know that we are “” youth One world “” – employees are visiting our Don Bosco partner and because you are always on the move as a group. If you walk into the gloomy alleys of the favelas, however, you can suddenly say: “” Hurry, hurry on. No questions now. “” There are just certain drug spots where people hang out who definitely don’t want to be photographed. Dangerous situations can arise there very quickly.expert paper help reviews I remember when I was in the favela for the first time in 2002, the driver insisted that everyone take off their seat belts. He explained to us that we have to be able to lie down quickly because there could be shooting at any time. A colleague of mine once had to take cover for almost an hour. At that time the drug cartel fought a gun battle with the police. One becomes different.

NEWS.AT: Those residents of the favelas who are not criminals also suffer from drug dealers. Velik: It is important to know that normal people also live in the favelas. They are hospitable, warm and just great people who just need opportunities. We try to give them these opportunities. For example, I got to know a young man who had been looked after by our Don Bosco partners for years. He lived on the street and the project gave him the chance to study. Today he is a dentist and facial surgeon.

NEWS.AT: What role does sport and soccer play for children and young people in Brazil? Velik: Our Don Bosco partners have almost 100 percent a sports or soccer field. Why? Because children are attracted to exercise, they like to go where they can exercise. You can start a conversation with the children from the play situation; it is practically the first point of contact. Based on the sport, the children playfully learn team building, punctuality and trust in adults. In a second step, educational offers are made that children and young people are very happy to accept. They take advantage of the few opportunities they get.

© Jugend Eine Welt Football plays an important role for street children.

NEWS.AT: How do authorities and society in Brazil feel about street children? Velik: Street children are even less welcome in the run-up to the World Cup. But they haven’t been welcomed for decades. Sometimes death squads have even formed in the past to hunt down street children. Around 21 years ago, for example, the massacre in front of the Candelária church in Rio, in which eight children were shot. At the time, children’s rights were being strongly promoted in Brazil and as a result of this incident, the ratification of children’s rights was ultimately enforced. At least on paper, it improved the situation.

NEWS.AT: How is the mood in the population with regard to the World Cup? Velik: Two hearts beat in every Brazilian. On the one hand, every Brazilian is crazy about football and wants Brazil to become world champions. On the other hand, the mood is upset. The residents no longer want to accept that the tax money is used to benefit large construction companies and individuals through such mega-events. The expenditures for education, health and infrastructure fall short of the expected. The people who expressed themselves critical of the World Cup were clearly in the majority.

NEWS.AT: What has to change in order to improve the situation of street children in Brazil? Velik: Education overcomes poverty. That’s the real truth. You have to give these children the chance to get an education. This also strengthens the understanding of democracy, the responsible authorities and politicians are held accountable and must act accordingly.

NEWS.AT: How strong do you experience the contrast when you come back to Austria from the slums in Brazil? Velik: A journalist, a pretty tough man, was with me in Brazil. And when he got home he only told his wife a little bit, not even the bad things. He then called me and said to me: “” My wife suddenly burst into tears. We have to talk to each other, I have to deal with it. “” It was only through his wife that he realized that it touched him a lot more than he first noticed. And that is also my personal experience: There is nothing better than exchanging ideas with people or groups who have experienced something similar.

NEWS.AT: You are passionate about social projects. How much longer do you want to be involved? Velik: I’ve been working in this area for a good 20 years and have not yet seen a single project that would be pointless. It is not for nothing that I am doing everything possible to help overcome poverty through education. I also help others to help myself. I take something with me, you can’t pretend that it’s all altruistic. Right now there is nothing better for me than this job and I want to do this as long as I can. There is no limit.

© Jugend Eine Welt Hannes Velik together with children and young people in need.

Hannes Velik and an employee of “” Jugend Eine Welt “” talk to street children in Rio:

About the person: Hannes Velik (born on June 8, 1965) traveled to Brazil as a student, lived there for several years and thus became aware of the circumstances in the slums and the street children. Born in Carinthia, he has been active in the social and developmental field since 1990. In 1998 he became head of international programs at “” Jugend Eine Welt “”. In the run-up to the soccer World Cup in Brazil, the street child expert visited several Don Bosco aid projects sponsored by “Jugend Eine Welt” and held talks with children and young people living on the streets as well as Brazilian children’s rights experts.

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The newly formed New York City FC officially confirmed the signing of Spanish team striker David Villa on Monday. The top scorer in the World Cup squad of the world and European champions will play for the soccer club from the “” Big Apple “” from 2015. New York City FC was founded by Manchester City and the New York Yankees in 2013. The game is played in the legendary Yankee Stadium.

Villa won the Spanish championship title with Atletico Madrid this year, before that the 32-year-old won the Champions League and twice the championship with FC Barcelona from 2010 to 2013. In addition to Spain’s record goalscorer, the Englishman Frank Lampard (35) will play for the MLS club from New York after 13 years at Chelsea.

Since the Major League Soccer season will not start again until next spring, the two old stars should be active at other clubs, similar to David Beckham in the past. Spanish media had reported that Villa at New York City’s majority owner Manchester City should keep fit, but not be used there.

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Germany’s national soccer player Marco Reus is out of the game for the World Cup in Brazil because of his foot injury. The 25-year-old Borussia Dortmund offensive player suffered a partial tear of the anterior syndesmosis ligament above the left ankle in the 6-1 win on Friday evening in Mainz in the friendly against Armenia.

Reus will probably only be able to start training again in six to seven weeks, announced the German Football Association (DFB) on Saturday. “” For him and for us this is extremely regrettable, “emphasized DFB coach Joachim Löw. The 54-year-old nominated defender Shkodran Mustafi from Sampdoria Genoa for Reus a few hours before the World Cup squad left for Brazil.

© imago / Moritz Müller

“” Marco was in a great mood. He made an excellent impression in the training camp and in the two games against Cameroon and Armenia and was sprayed with enthusiasm. He played a central role in our deliberations for Brazil, “” said Löw, regretting the failure. Mustafi had not called the ex-Tyrol and Austria-Vienna coach after the training camp in South Tyrol in the 23-strong World Cup squad.

© imago / Moritz Müller

“” It was not about replacing Marco Reus one-on-one, “explained Löw. In the positions behind the top he had “” enough alternatives “” with Podolski, Schürrle, Götze, Müller, Özil, Draxler and also Kroos. That is why he decided on another option for the defensive area.

Mustafi was surprised by his nomination on the phone. “” I was on my way home when the national coach called me, “said the 22-year-old central defender. “” I’m very sorry for Marco, but of course I’m happy that I can be there. “”

“” A dream has burst “”

“A dream broke from one second to the next,” said Marco Reus the day after the serious injury. “” Of course he is also broken, he is deeply disappointed that he will now miss the World Cup, “” said national coach Joachim Löw of a conversation with the 25-year-old.

“” I really don’t know how to express in words what I’m feeling right now, “said Reus in an initial public reaction to the” “Bild” “newspaper. The role of the spectator will hurt, but Reus has already developed a bit of defiance: “” But now I also have to look ahead, approach my rehab very professionally, because it has to go on. I’m coming back even stronger than I was. “”

Although Löw still has the most alternatives in the attacking midfield, Reus was in top form recently and can hardly be replaced equally. “” He was a weapon, “said DFB record scorer Miroslav Klose.

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France’s soccer superstar Franck Ribery is out of the game for the World Cup in Brazil because of his persistent back problems. This was confirmed by team boss Didier Deschamps on Friday. Ribery has been complaining of back pain for almost two months. The 31-year-old winger of the German champions Bayern Munich made a few appearances in the season finale.

“” It’s a big blow for me to be forced to leave the team and miss the World Cup, “” said Ribery. He had hoped for a timely recovery until the end. “” I was hoping to be able to attack again against Jamaica. But on Friday morning the pain was back. The tests have shown that participation in the World Cup is not possible, “said the Bayern winger.

Training canceled due to severe pain

The hopeful of the “” Equipe tricolore “” felt severe pain during training on Friday, had to break off the session and was taken to the hospital in Rambouillet. “” Investigations that afternoon confirmed that his situation had worsened.

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