OMEGA CONCLUDES ITS SUCCESSFUL COMMUNITY COUNTDOWN WITH VIVA RIO
August 5th, 2016 – OMEGA, the Official Timekeeper of the Olympic Games, has concluded its successful Community Countdown with Viva Rio. The #OMEGAVIVARIO partnership began in August 2015, with 12 social projects planned over 12 months that would benefit vulnerable young people in the Olympic Games host city.
The idea was to replace OMEGA’s traditional one-year countdown to the Olympic Games with a more worthy approach that could refurbish many educational and community centres in Rio de Janeiro. It was also an opportunity for OMEGA to leave a lasting legacy long after the Olympic Games had finished.
The first project in August 2015 was aimed at helping vulnerable young mothers and pregnant women. By purchasing almost 200 new childhood development tools and materials for a specialised health clinic, OMEGA and Viva Rio were able to create a new meeting group that will benefit at least 500 mothers a year.
Renata Duarte, a first time mother, said, “Everything that I’m able to learn here will be helpful. Information is essential for a first time mother. I always looked on the internet and now I can directly ask someone who has the information I need.”
Since that first successful project, the Community Countdown has encompassed a wide area of the city as well as touching the lives of many different people and groups.
In January 2016, over 90 new sports uniforms were purchased for a young immigrant football team known as the Black Pearls. The project also delivered new equipment and organized more than one hour of nationwide TV exposure and more than 200 online articles. The project was a major boost for the team during one of the year’s biggest tournaments.
Jean Louis Anel, a 19-year-old midfielder, said, “The São Paulo Junior Cup was the biggest championship that I’ve participated in. I loved how our team was welcomed by the public and the media and the professional level we felt at during the soccer matches.”
And in February 2016, the partnership helped to renovate and equip two municipal schools. The work included a playground renovation and a refurbished computer lab with brand new computers that will benefit 1000 primary and middle school students every year.
Flávia da Silva, a mother of one of the students, said, “There are still lots of people that don’t have access to the internet and can’t do research or homework at their house. Now, the education will be facilitated and the students’ knowledge will improve.”
President and CEO of OMEGA, Raynald Aeschlimann, has been thrilled to follow the accomplishments of #OMEGAVIVARIO throughout the year. He said, “We knew that this would be a special partnership when we began last year. But looking at the results today, we are even more proud than we could have imagined. It feels fantastic to know that, beyond our timekeeping role, we have been able to connect with the people of the Olympic Games host city and give them a little something back to say thank you.”
As OMEGA knows from its long history in watchmaking, success is a result of many parts. So it’s particularly fitting that each project has a real focus on detailed improvements and materials that make up a bigger story. From new computers, down to new sports uniforms, every action has made a valuable difference.
Viva Rio’s executive director, Rubem César Fernandes added, “Viva Rio is happy and proud of the social countdown in Rio over the last 12 months. The projects supported by the campaign have reached vulnerable communities in the most remote regions of the city. The focus on education from pregnancy and early-childhood to the beginning of adult life created twelve powerful examples of the Olympic Games spirit whose messages will be heard and seen long after the event is over.”
OMEGA also supported its Community Countdown through a social media campaign that encouraged users to upload a picture of a heart. For every heart uploaded, OMEGA made a donation to the Viva Rio projects.