Famed Rio slum to get multimillion aid scheme
Youths play football in the Cidade de Deus (City of God) shantytown in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on May 11, 2013
Some 40,000 aged between 15 and 29 from the Cidade de Deus (City of God) community are to get assistance from a government initiative sponsored by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
"We want to give a opportunity ... to those who never had one," explained Morgana Eneile, who coordinates the Caminho Melhor Jovem (better path for youth) program.
The Rio state government is weighing in with $24 million to add to a $60 million grant from the IDB, organizers said.
Cidade de Deus, a western shantytown which was the subject of a 2009 clean-up by police and the military, was famously depicted in a 2002 Oscar-nominated film by Fernando Meirelles about the residents' struggle for survival in a climate of extreme gangland and drug-related violence.
The program was first tested two months ago in another "pacified" Rio slum, Manguinhos, and now is being rolled out on a larger scale.
“Constructing a new life is a long-term task -- up to two years. Youth will be the protagonist of this story," Lino Rocca, the director of the Manguinhos unit, said in a statement.