Originally: Brazilian soccer great Ronaldo to shoot against poverty in UN campaign for Ha

Goodwill ambassador Ronaldo
Brazilian soccer star Ronaldo, who is to play with his country’s team in a friendly “peace” match against Haiti next week, is to use his goal-scoring prowess in a second game to raise funds for a United Nations anti-poverty campaign in the strife-torn Caribbean nation, the poorest in the Americas.

“I am very keen to go to Haiti with my team to play for peace and as a Brazilian I am very proud to be one of the few who are given the opportunity of making a contribution to ending years of fighting in this country,” said Ronaldo, a Goodwill Ambassador of the UN Development Programme (UNDP).

“But I also want the people of Haiti to know that I equally deeply care about the fact their country is the most affected by poverty in the Americas,” he added. “I have therefore decided to organize with the United Nations Development Programme a second ‘Match Against Poverty’ in the coming months and to channel part of the funds thus collected through UNDP to anti-poverty projects in Haiti.”

One other major recipient will be Africa. The first match, which pitted Ronaldo and friends against French star and fellow Goodwill Ambassador Zinedine Zidane and his friends, took place last December in Basel, Switzerland, and mobilized some 44 international soccer stars. Funds raised are supporting anti-poverty projects in Brazil, Comoros, Guinea-Bissau, Morocco, Namibia, Sri Lanka and Viet Nam.

The 18 August friendly match in Port-au-Prince, the capital, is being organized by the Governments of Haiti and Brazil, whose troops form a major part of the UN peacekeeping force in the country, and is aimed at promoting peace and curbing the illicit use of small arms after violence in February led to the ouster of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.