In August 2017, we welcomed Brazilian soccer player Neymar Jr. as the new global ambassador of Humanity & Inclusion (the new name of Handicap International). Through this partnership, Neymar is lending his huge fame to a good cause: empowering the most vulnerable people in the world, people with disabilities living in poor countries, victims of conflicts and natural disasters.
The first action of Neymar Jr. as an ambassador of Humanity & Inclusion was to send a message of support to people with disabilities across the world. At 3:00pm on August 15 in Geneva, he went on the top of the 39-foot Broken Chair monument and called for more inclusion of people with disabilities in society. Symbolically, this message took the shape of a soccer ball with the logo of HI on it. He then kicked the ball down the Allée des Nations in front of the Palace of Nations. The event was followed by a press conference hosted by the United Nations Office in Geneva (pictured above).
Broken Chair is the work of the Swiss artist Daniel Berset, erected 20 years ago by HI in front of the United Nations headquarters in Geneva to call for a ban on antipersonnel landmines.
More broadly speaking, Neymar Jr. chose to engage with Humanity & Inclusion and to promote all of the charity’s work alongside persons with disabilities in 56 countries.
The star and Humanity & Inclusion initially met in 2016 to discuss access to prostheses for amputee children, a subject that’s particularly close to Neymar Jr.’s heart, and a cause he has already supported. He wanted to support similar actions on a global scale, and got to know Humanity & Inclusion’s prosthetic and orthotic programs.
In October 2016, Neymar Jr. showed his support to Haitians impacted by the devastating Hurricane Matthew by urging his followers on social media to support our work in the hard-hit nation.
He accepted Humanity & Inclusion’s invitation to travel to Geneva for the “Broken Chair” event. In future, Neymar hopes to travel to the field to see HI’s projects in person, but this has not yet been possible due to his busy schedule.
Neymar is Humanity & Inclusion’s first International Ambassador. In North America, Humanity & Inclusion benefits from the committed support of two Goodwill Ambassadors: American pilot, motivational speaker and RightFooted star Jessica Cox, and Canadian Dark Matter actor Anthony Lemke.
Check out the press coverage!
New York Times: Neymar Becomes Goodwill Ambassador for World's Disabled
AFP (video): Neymar becomes Handicap International ambassador
Look to the Stars: Neymar Jr Named Ambassador for Handicap International
SportsPro: Neymar signs for Handicap International