The Black Pearl Academy
Viva Rio has created the Black Pearls Academy to promote inclusion of vulnerable youths through football. The academy is a football club and a high-performance football training center for young athletes from refugee and underprivileged communities, with branches in Haiti and Brazil.
In Haiti, about 120 boys and girls, from 12 to 16 years old, live and train in the Black Pearls Academy in the outskirts of Port-au-Prince. Selected in tournaments that engaged thousands of teenagers, they get physical and technical training for a high-level performance in football. They also go to school, get health care and a balanced diet.
Upon completing 16 years of age, the most talented and willing athletes continue their training in Brazil, where they face real possibilities of inclusion in the football market. Viva Rio has a club that plays the main professional, U-20 and U-17 tournaments of the country, and young Haitians are getting contracts with first league Brazilian teams.