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Brazil 2014: the GDF SUEZ Foundation and its partners, the “Académie Bernard Diomède” and the Gol de Letra Foundation launch a solidarity initiative

May 5, 2014

Thrown by the GDF SUEZ Foundation, the "Match of their dream" is a France/Brazil event based on solidarity and sharing between the “Académie Bernard Diomède”, and the Gol de Letra Foundation founded by former international soccer player Raï.



Match of Their Dream

This June, the whole planet will be abuzz with excitement about the World Cup, to be held in Brazil, the most soccer-crazy country in the world. Everyone remembers the thrilling France-Brazil match in 1998.

GDF SUEZ has been a major sponsor of the French national team and the French Football Federation since 2006. It is also the leading private supplier of electricity in Brazil, and wants to help bring the dream of soccer to those who need it the most. With the "Match of Their Dream" program (French: "Le Match de leur rêve"), the GDF SUEZ Foundation hopes to recreate the France-Brazil encounter for the young people involved in two associations that it has sponsored for several years: the “Académie Bernard Diomède”, and the Gol de Letra Foundation, established by Brazilian soccer player Raï. These two associations share the same commitment to give young people a chance, and help them build their own future. This program will showcase and support their shared goals and work.

Thanks to the support of GDF SUEZ, out of the seventy young players trained each year by the “Académie Bernard Diomède”, twelve will be selected just like a national team to be sent to Brazil. The selection will be made based on their athletic, academic, and personal qualities. There, they will meet the youth of the Gol de Letra foundation and play several matchs against them, including one on a beach in Rio de Janeiro.

They will attend the France/Ecuador match on 25 June, in the Maracana Stadium in Rio, on this trip that will be an opportunity for them to discover Brazil.

The program was launched on Tuesday, 29 April at the “Académie Bernard Diomède”, with the support of two prestigious sponsors: Gaëtane Thiney, one of the French national team's most talented players, and Christian Karembeu.

Gérard Mestrallet, Chairman and CEO of GDF SUEZ: "The World Cup in Brazil is going to be a tremendously exciting event for all of us around the world. We want to share this moment, and make it useful. We're pleased to have long supported two fantastic associations: the “Académie Bernard Diomède”, in France, and Raï's academy in Brazil. GDF SUEZ is delighted to help them further advance their efforts in support of solidarity by showing the excellent work that they are doing on the ground. Let’s all share this "Match of Their Dream" together”.

Raï: “Part of my education was the opportunity that I had to get to know a different country, new cultures, and other people. Giving these French youth the chance to take that trip in the other direction is going to be a rich and fruitful exchange for everyone, as well as an unforgettable moment around their shared passion, soccer. And it's a chance for us to showcase all the work that we do. The experiences these youth are going to have together will be extremely important for their personal growth”.

Bernard Diomède: “With the contributions of our common partner, the GDF SUEZ Foundation, we naturally thought about a project that would give our kids the unforgettable experience of going to Brazil to replay the France-Brazil match during the 2014 World Cup. Above all, this is about cultural exchanges, and a chance for these youth of different nationalities and cultures to spend time together. It will be an educational experience in many ways, as they will learn about themselves, about listening to others, and about building trust. We hope that these young players who go to Brazil will become ambassadors of the Academy, sharing their experiences with future generations for many years to come”.

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The GDF SUEZ FoundationIn the framework of GDF SUEZ's social responsibility policy, the Foundation works in France and abroad with associations whose goal is to make playing sports a socio-educational tool to benefit solidarity and social cohesion. Because of the emphasis on excellence, teamwork, and taking initiatives, and because it helps in learning about values like self-control and respect for others, playing sports is one of the best ways to protect youth in disadvantaged and rural areas from exclusion, discrimination, and isolation, as well as helping to prepare them for the world of tomorrow.

This contribution to helping integrate disadvantaged youth through sports is part of the Foundation's Children & Youth program, which makes equal opportunities and the prevention of early academic failure two of its main priorities. Alongside the “Académie Bernard Diomède” and Gol de Letra, the GDF SUEZ Foundation supports other associations, like APELS (French Agency for Education through Sports), the Fête le Mur tennis charity, and "Sport dans la ville" (Sports in the City), among others.

The “Académie Bernard Diomède”Supported by the GDF SUEZ Foundation since 2011, the “Académie Bernard Diomède” is currently training 73 young boys and girls, ages 11-18. Thanks to the efforts of its President, Bernard Diomède, these young players have the opportunity to develop not just as athletes, but also academically and socially.

The “Académie Bernard Diomède” has three goals:

- Sports: making it possible to combine an education with serious soccer practice,

- Academics: for performance at school that's as good as it is on the field,

- A full education: teaching these young boys and girls the positive values that are learned through sports, to help them set their path in life.

The partnership with the GDF SUEZ Foundation focuses more specifically on progressively establishing classes in the last three years of high school (general and professional tracks) as well as on sports-related professional education (teachers, referees, etc.) and on specific educational modules to familiarize them with the business world. GDF SUEZ also helps the Academy recruit volunteers among its employees for homework assistance that each student can take advantage of.

For more information, visit: www.academie-diomede.fr

Gol de Letra FoundationFounded in 1998 by former international soccer players Raï and Leonardo, and supported by the GDF SUEZ Foundation since 2013 as part of its "Children & Youth" program, the Gol de Letra Foundation targets highly disadvantaged youth in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. Its goal is to contribute to their education and cultural development so that they can build their own future.

To do this, the foundation develops complete educational programs for 1,600 children, teenagers, and young adults between ages 7-29. The "Dois Toques" program provides 250 children and adolescents with four hours of activities each day in reading, writing, art, music, dance, and physical education (volleyball, basketball, futsal and football). Adding a social component to the pedagogical project, the Gol de Letra Foundation helps families and communities through socio-educational action.

GDF SUEZ develops its businesses around a model based on responsible growth to take up today’s major energy and environmental challenges: meeting energy needs, ensuring the security of supply, combating climate change and optimizing the use of resources. The Group provides highly efficient and innovative solutions to individuals, cities and businesses by relying on diversified gas-supply sources, flexible and low-emission power generation as well as unique expertise in four key sectors: liquefied natural gas, energy efficiency services, independent power production and environmental services. GDF SUEZ employs 218,900 people worldwide and achieved revenues of €90.7 billion in 2011. The Group is listed on the Brussels and Paris stock exchanges and is represented in the main international indices: CAC 40, BEL 20, DJ Euro Stoxx 50, Euronext 100, FTSE Eurotop 100, MSCI Europe, ASPI Eurozone, Vigeo World 120, Vigeo Europe 120 and Vigeo France 20.

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