Gringoes > General Interest > Brazil: Opera Came to the Favela of Vila Torres
Brazil: Opera Came to the Favela of Vila Torres
By Duncan Crowley
July 15, 2014

An amazing day happened on Sunday 15th of June 2014 in Vila Torres, Curitiba, the day before the city saw its first of four world cup games. Vila Torres is the most central and oldest of the many underprivileged favelas of the city. It&rsquot;s a tough existence here, people with next to nothing do what they can, despite all the challenges that face them on a day to day existence.

Like all of the city and the country, people love their football. But unlike the more well to do parts of society, the community here had no means to get in on the excitement of the world cup. So the Brazilian student led movement #CheerForPeace decided to change that, to try to bring a little bit of the magic here too. What unfolded was weeks of building a movement, working with the community and pulling together whatever was available or possible to make a truly special day for ALL the football loving fans there. Huge thanks to all who supported, donated, came and shared in the day, hopefully all enjoyed the event. This was just the first of many more events. Huge respect must be given to the extraordinary women behind the local school, the Organizaão de Desenvolvimento do Potencial Humano (ODPH): Valdim, Kauann and all the gang… With leadership, strength and love like these remarkably strong and resilient women have, the future will indeed be feminine!

The event was a great success, about 200 kids came, played, made juices from the pedal powered bike machine / juice maker, ate organic vegan food, played football, danced, got their faces painted… And a whole lot more!

Canadian students from Alberta and their teacher Nick arrived and donated a whole load of green tops, boots and footballs. Read their reports here: From Canada to the Vila Torres Favela. Also a coach from the local football ground Parana FC kindly came and gave a free training class to anyone who wanted, some great little players in the barrio, both boys and girls.

Equating healthy eating with a party… that’s a first for Vila Torres. A “Great Event with Great Food” (not junk food) provided generously by the Organic Growers Association of the Mercado Municipal De Curitiba – ASCESME. Special thanks to the amazing chef Igor Oliveira and the man responsible for sorting all the great organic food for the event: Sebastiao Martins Coelho. Although some kids were not too happy, maybe preferring cola and hot dogs, hopefully the event opened a wider debate about healthy eating, local markets and wider issues of a healthier local economy.

Although word was sent to a host of both local and international media, many of which said they would come to report the event in the favela, only one did come to cover the story. Subsequently there have been no reports of any the local or international media. The only communications with the wider world about the goings on, coming from a few brief blog reports by some small groups and individuals. The following day Irish radio did cover the story for 5 minutes on RTE’s Joe Duffy show Liveline.

The unprecedented #CheerForPeace Give&Game Fan Fest for the Rest in Vila Torres, Curitiba, closed on a high-note with the beautiful Opera from English-Brazilian artist Penelope belting out a few tunes, Albert Hall it might not be, but all there felt it was a perfect end to a very special day.

While this event will not “change the world,” hopefully it might lead to connections, processes and movements that will.

For more photos see the original article at http://cheerforpeace.wordpress.com.

Duncan Crowley is an architect who is deeply involved in environmental and social movements. He focuses on urban ecology, open creative systems, bikes, gardens & fun. Although from Ireland, he is currently residing in Curitiba, Brazil. He has also worked and resided in England and Barcelona.

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