Rio de Janeiro. The Brazilian capitol known for its white sandy beaches, Carnaval and the huge statue of Christ. Thousands of tourist from all over the world poor into Brazil to see this beautiful city. Despite the booming tourism, more than half of Rio’s inhabitants live in poverty. People live in slums, called favela’s, where organised crime rules the streets. Almost daily people get killed due to violence created by druglords, gangs and the police. Most kids join gangs at an early age and many don’t live to see 21.
Life is specially hard for young girls in the favela’s. Educational systems are almost nonexistent, which makes gang life seem like the obvious and often only choice. Becoming a gang members girlfriend seems tempting because it provides prestige, but it almost always means being a teen mom in a household full of violence, sometimes when the girls are only 12 years old. These girls don’t get the same chance we get, to grow up, live and discover themselves and their talents. If we want to change this seemingly bleak situation, we need more female role models.
Favela Street Girls gives these female role models a stage using street soccer. The Favela Street soccer program for boys is being used since 2010. In this program, ex-soldados and ex-druglords are trained to become sport instructors. During these programs, girls sometimes join the boys, but there hasn’t been a specific program designed for girls. Until now!
Favela Street Girls takes the experience and learning’s from the Favela Street program for boys, and creates a new program especially designed for girls. Starting March 2014, Favela Street Girls will be enrolled in 3 neighbourhoods: Complexo da Penha, Vila Nova and Bangu. The program ensures that the girls attend school as well as join the soccer activities, thereby creating a brighter future for them selves.
Little girls turn into strong women
Favela Street Girls uses street soccer as a tool to develop and improve communicative, organisational and social skills. The tailored program ensures that girls learn the tools and skills to organise sporting events by themselves when the program is over. Confidence and celebrating success are key values to describe Favela Street’s style. The girls learn the skills of a coach and trainer while playing street soccer. By setting reachable realistic goals, we let the girl’s experience success when they reach these goals. This gives them a sense of accomplishment and success. By creating many of these experiences, over time the girls will feel confident and proud, which will reflect on their behaviour.
Favela Street Girls helps girls that need structure, a safe environment and appreciation. Enrolling in the Favela Street Girls program for these girl’s means to be able to reflect on life, set goals for the future and a better chance of getting a good job later on in life. Favela Street Girls promises a safe learning environment, whilst providing the girls with the structure and self-confidence that they need.
Favela Street Girls sets 2 goals for itself:
1. Favela Street Girls trains a select group of girls to become sport instructors and supplies them with the experience and tools they need to be able to independently organise events for the duration of 1 year.
2. Girls that partake in the program can play sports and learn in a safe environment, while being surrounded and inspired by strong female role models.
Favela Street Girls will be present and visible at places where gangs are likely to hang out, like open spaces, playgrounds and soccer fields. The girls enrolled in the program will become valuable role models for other girls, because they pose as confident woman who have a choice wether they want to partake in the gang activities or not.
Support Favela Street Girls
All girls should have a chance to a better future and a spot on the soccer field. Favela Street Girls aims to create a whole new generation of female role models. To achieve our goals, we depend on donations and sponsors. If we collect enough money, we are able to train a select group of girls to become certified trainers, we could buy the materials we need and guarantee continuity by being able to pay the sport instructors for the duration of 1 year.
By supporting the Favela Street Girls Benefit Party, your donation hopefully lets the Favela Street Girl program grow, so that opportunities can be created for girls in more favela’s .