There is one side to the late Ayrton Senna that shows his more charitable side, one that was rarely seen at the track. He was very helpful to help those youngsters in Brazil that did not have the luxuries he had as a child, and looked to help Brazil’s younger generations towards a better future.
In November 1994, just a few months after his fatal accident at Imola, his sister Viviane founded the Instituto Ayrton Senna, which now helps to realize the dream that Ayrton once had as merely an idea. Senna was keen to help close the gap between those that were living in poverty-stricken areas and those that were a lot more comfortable when it came to living conditions.
It is a non-profit organization that has its own resources, as well as donations and private initiative partnerships helping out, to provide improvements to the current education schemes that are in place. This is also the case when it comes to both the students and teachers.
Through the impressive developments and the scale of progress that the Institute has made since its inception, it has been recognized by UNESCO, and has been tasked by the UN to help improve education standards for all children and young adults by the proposed standards required for 2015.
The education schemes that are in place, which include Acelera Brazil, Circuito Campeão, Fórmula da Vitória and Se Liga, have helped the lives of over 2 million children so far. The program continues its philanthropic work in a country that one man was idolized for his racing prowess, but the money that Ayrton kept to one side as a result of his success helped to provide the initial building blocks of a well-recognized program that still does great work and provides a good future for those children less fortunate.
One other aspect is that Gran Turismo has now also teamed up with the Institute to show how the legacy he has left firmly imprinted in our minds and hearts continues. This is the month-long tribute that Polyphony Digital has been running from the day after the twentieth anniversary of Senna’s passing, which includes a twenty minute video entitled “Ayrton’s Wish,” as well as a “Senna” GT bundle for the Brazilian market being released.
The seal of approval on the twenty-minute video, directed by Tamir Moscivici, was given by Bianca Senna, which shows how much it meant to the family themselves, and that seal of approval meant the world to Moscivici.
He may still reside in our hearts and minds forever, but Ayrton’s dream lives on in the Institute itself and the children it helps along the way.
Images via Wikimedia Commons.