Brazilian Soccer Legend Roberto Carlos Supports Western Union’s PASS Initiative

February 28, 2014

Meeting Brazilian soccer player Roberto Carlos recently was a big thrill for a group of children from Istanbul. They had participated in research conducted by UNICEF, made possible by Western Union’s PASS initiative.

The purpose of the research was to better understand the barriers to secondary education faced by disadvantaged adolescents in order to tackle them more effectively. 

Through PASS, the UNICEF-Western Union partnership will use soccer to promote children’s right to a good education and a chance to reach their full potential. As the UEFA Europa League’s global partner, Western Union hopes every successful pass will turn into better education for young people. Carlos, a former soccer star and coach known as “the bullet man” because of powerful free kicks, is backing PASS 100 percent.

“Getting a proper education is very important,” says Carlos, who currently manages a soccer team in Turkey.  “I’m very happy to see that Western Union’s PASS is supporting UNICEF education programs in Turkey as well as the plans to use it in my home country of Brazil later in the year.”

The Western Union PASS initiative is creating an opportunity for children to live up to their full potential, regardless of gender, ethnicity, economic status or geographical location. “Education for Better” is another example of Western Union’s commitment to global education goals.

“Our ‘Education for Better’ program, of which our PASS initiative is a part, recognizes that one of the main reasons our consumers send money is for education,” says Nogay Kanpolat, Western Union’s Regional Director for Southeast Europe. “We are proud to support UNICEF, using the power of football so that children here in Turkey and other countries around the world have more access to a quality education.”

So far, funding is being provided by UNICEF for education programs in Jamaica, Nigeria and Turkey, with programs in Brazil, China, Morocco and Senegal due to begin later in the year.

Youth from Istanbul pose with  soccer star Roberto Carlos. Photo: Katia Stefanatou. Youth from Istanbul pose with soccer star Roberto Carlos. Photo: Katia Stefanatou.