This common Brazilian phrase is one that truly encompasses the community-driven values of the favela. Favelas are low-income communities, but that does not define them. They are vibrant, full of love, positive energy, and residents that are eager to help one another. The above phrase encapsulates the culture of favelas because it means that there is always food for another person, for a neighbor who may be hungry, or someone in need, because you can always put more water in the beans.
As with most favelas, Rocinha is full of untapped potential. It is a community that has over 250,000 residents but is ignored by the local government. This is reflected in a lack of access to quality education and health care. With demand high and funding low, a child is offered (if accepted) just four hours of education per day often from underpaid and unmotivated staff.
This leaves extended periods of time where children are at home without supervision, leading to involvement in negative activities, stemming from the pressure to join local drug gangs who control the favelas. In many cases, favela children must grow up by themselves. Denied backing and resources, they are forced to decide from a young age who they want to be without a support system to guide them.
“I am working in Rocinha to show a new perspective, new opportunities, and to show that the marginalized lifestyle doesn't bring anything good.”
Tony Barros - Director of Photography Program
"Art will not only save the favelas, but it will save the world."
Erica Souza - Breakdancing Professor
“Tio Lino functions as a second home for the children, most of the children feel more comfortable, safer, here than they do at home.”
Iris Santos - Operations Manager
“Tennis gave me everything, since I was 9 years old and started working as a ball boy, it gave me the opportunity to become a good citizen and professor.”
Vitor - Director of Tennis Program
“Children from the favela are thirsty for a safe environment to express themselves”
Fabio -Staff Psychologist
“Recent studies conducted by Catho ( Brazilian job site company) showed that in Brazil a fluency in English is directly related to higher salaries. Entry level positions can expect to earn up to 18% more, whilst professionals and management positions earn up to 60% more in many cases”