WHERE: A number of interlinked favelas in the north of Rio de Janeiro


WHY: These favelas lack basic infrastructure and services and are dominated by drug trafficking. Most children who enter the drug trade do so either as a result of desperate poverty and/or other forms of social exclusion. Amid very vulnerable circumstances, children can turn to the drug trade for money, or to gain social status, identity and a sense of family where they otherwise have none. The outcomes of this violent and dangerous form of child labour are usually devastating: IBISS estimates that more than 80% of child soldiers do not live past their 21st birthday. The ones who don’t join drug trafficking, are stigmatised by intense stereotypes and prejudices, limiting opportunities for further education, vocational training and jobs.


WHAT: Ex-drug soldiers and young women previously involved with drug soldiers are supported, trained and hired to become coaches and role-models, offering the football classes and life-skills workshops. They receive tailored personal development support including, for many of them, help dealing with trauma. 


WHO: Children and young people at risk of, or who have been involved in, trafficking gangs and teenage mothers


RESULTS: In 2014, eighteen ex-drug soldiers, or young women previously involved with drug soldiers, have been hired by Favela Street and received tailored personal development support. For 15 of them, this included help dealing with trauma. Twelve of them who had not completed primary education were placed on a primary education equivalency programme.


Children, in addition to attending football trainings and tournaments, receive socio-educational support by social workers, underwent a health check, with five pregnant teenagers provided with pre-natal care. Children who had traumas, mainly as a result of the violence and drug trafficking in their communities, were supported in overcoming these. This helped them gain greater confidence and self-esteem.


Finally, the project’s girl team participated in the 2014 Street Child World cup in Rio, and went back to their community as champions and ambassadors. They have since taken part in several events and activities talking about their realities and the power of football to transform lives.


CEACA aims to improve the quality of life in low-income communities through educational and cultural programmes, counselling, and technology classes



A 'social circus' project based in Rio de Janeiro with outstanding results, Crescer e Viver works through arts workshops and classes to develop skills, increase self-confidence and promote awareness of others. more

Cinema Nosso

Cinema Nosso in Rio de Janeiro uses cinema as means of education, empowerment,
strengthening of communication skills and develop-ment of critical thinking.More


IBISS aims to reduce socio-economic inequality and violence through sport, community engagement, shelter and social care


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