Brazil: the great divide

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I think the above cartoon sums up the forthcoming World Cup in Brazil.

Look at the boy from the favela (slum)  not far from the beautiful newly built and just completed on time, football stadium. He stands in the midst of the poverty stricken environment that is his home watching the fireworks light the night sky.

He wears his beloved number 10 Brazil shirt and dreams of kicking the ball some day in that very same stadium. His dream is the same as so many like him in contemporary Brazil.

Last week we saw the protests of people who have seen expenditure on education in Brazil cut, sometimes to nothing, in order to pay for the stadia and host the World Cup.

I am a football fan ( my wife would say fanatic) but I really feel that we need to think about the costs of these great tournaments that come and go and are largely forgotten. Education is an engine for social and economic change in Brazil. A school, once built, will act as a base for education for years to come. Can we justify the expenditure on a World Cup and Olympics in two years time at the expense of the potential for development and progress of children such as the boy in the cartoon?

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