Neymar opened on Tuesday the 23rd the "Neymar Junior Institute" to help children in need.
The Institute is located in the same area in which Neymar spent much of his childhood in Praia Grande, Sao Paulo.
"Today was a great day. It was the day I wanted to come and I am very happy, my whole family is very happy," said Neymar adding that "I lived two blocks from here and I know how it was in my childhood. I knew we didn't have opportunities. So this (the institute) is a giant door for us to give opportunities to the people here."
The Neymar Jr Institute will offer free classes for football, volleyball, swimming, judo, basketball, reading, languages, music, dance and information technology to about 2,300 children 7-14 years old.
The facilities, which occupy a football field and a building donated by the Mayor of Praia Grande, required an investment of 25 million reals ($9.2 million).
Neymar's father, Neymar da Silva, said that the institute does not purport to exercise the function of scouts in discovering players.
The institute will only accept children from families with monthly incomes of up to 140 reais ($51) per person living in the eight poor neighborhoods of Praia Grande, Santos neighboring town, where Neymar played until 2013.
We also require that children regularly go to school and attend at least 90% of classes.
Alllied with Barça
The project was carried out with invested money and sponsors, and among its supporters are Barca and its Foundation. "Barcelona is a great partner of ours. We knew that Barcelona is a club with social interests worldwide and we took the opportunity to make them our partner," added Neymar's father. Attending the opening from Barcelona was the vice president of the Foundation, Ramón Cierco, and the director of the Foundation, Josep Cortada.
"When Barcelona signed Neymar we thought we signed one of the best players in the world and the future best player in the world. And indeed it has come to fruition. What surprises us is his involvement and his defense of the values that coincide perfectly with the spirit of the Foundation," explained Ramón Cierco.
As evidence of the involvement of the Foundation in this project of Neymar is one of the activities carried out through the 'FutbolNet' program, which is a tool for developing values through sports.
Source: Neymar Institute official webpage and milenio.com
Photos: INJR official webpage