Manchester United striker and England international Marcus Rashford is celebrated in the UK for his campaign work and he has inspired Real Madrid forward Vinicius Jr to promote education in Brazil
The 21-year-old wants to make his home nation more equal and through the Instituto Vini Jr, the app Base has been designed to help young children from poorer backgrounds have greater access to education.
University education in Brazil is free but more affluent parents tend to send their children to private, fee-paying schools that many believes leads to a societal imbalance on education access.
Vinicius – whose old school in Rio de Janiero has launched the app – now wants more Brazilian children to be able to learn through football.
The Real Madrid star has now admitted he has been inspired by the actions of Manchester United striker and England international Rashford.
The Manchester-born striker has established himself as a leading campaigner against racism, homelessness and child hunger in the United Kingdom.
Rashford – who was raised in modest conditions – has used his platform to campaign for a number of societal issues with his food poverty campaign and promoting of free school meals most prominent among them.
Speaking of his inspiration for his Brazilian project, Vinicius told an interview with The Guardian : “I just thought that I could do more and I’m doing more.
“We have a lot of examples of athletes doing that. I’ve been inspired by what LeBron James, Lewis Hamilton and Marcus Rashford are doing.
“So, I began doing something for my neighbourhood first, but who knows if it can grow across Brazil.”
Vinicius is the sole investor of the Instituto Vini Jr, which he has spent approximately £275k of his own money to fund.
He has described that the app will “unite football and education” to make learning “more fun” for children and encourage them to stay in education.
The Brazilian insisted his focus was on reducing “the big educational gap” which existed between rich and poor within his nation with a core belief in making education widely available for everyone.
University of Manchester)
“They use the app while they are in school. It has a lot of exercises and levels which they have to answer correctly to pass,” he added.
“We also do face-to-face activities with the students, always using sports as the background for maths and Portuguese, for example.
“But they learn more about social problems in the world, like how we need to better treat the environment and treat people with equality.”
Aged 21, Vinicius is in the best goal-scoring form of his career with five goals in his first 10 appearances for Real Madrid this season – one goal away from his season-best tally from the previous campaign.
Vinicius moved to the Spanish capital from Flamengo in 2018, when he celebrated his 18 th birthday, and has scored 20 goals in 128 first-team appearances.
The wide-forward has also cemented his place within the Brazilian national squad this year.