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Luta Pela Paz visit

Posted by on 22/02/2014

Back in November I visited Fight For Peace in London, and now in Rio I was privileged enough to also visit the original project Luta Pela Paz! Thanks to Gabriela for organising this and for showing me around (plus see my updated Ola Rio post for news of our great Rio bike ride!).

With Gabriela and two lads from the 'youth council' that helps to run the project

With Gabriela and two lads from the ‘youth council’ that helps to run the project

It’s located in Complexo da Maré, one of the biggest group of favelas in the city. Encompassing 800,000m2, Maré is divided into 17 favela communities and is home to 132,000 residents (CEASM, 2011) – over half of which are children, adolescents and young people. Notable for high levels of poverty, social and economic exclusion and by a scarcity of public services, Maré suffers from a lack of options as well as from the situations of violence, crime and drugs that residents still regularly face. Three different drug factions have dominated the area over a long period of time, exposing the young people to almost daily confrontations between themselves and the police.

It was within this climate of young people being exposed so often to violence that Luta Pela Paz began its work in 2000 – founded by Englishman Luke Dowdney – looking to offer more possibilities through its activities as well as making sure that young people from all over Maré had access to these opportunities.

It’s thrived ever since, thanks in part to great support from Laureus! What an inspirational place. Please help them to continue their great work by donating now, cheers.

Kids warming up for boxing training, with a Taiwanese TV crew filming in their midst!

Kids warming up for boxing training, with a Taiwanese TV crew filming in their midst!

Me in the gym

Me in the gym

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