CUFA changes the fate of residents of more than 5,000 favelas

Discover the initiatives of this iFood partner NGO that make a difference to the lives of 17 million people in Brazil

Empowering a community often begins with mobilizing its own members. This is how CUFA came into being, the Central Única das Favelas, in the late 1990s.

Founded in Rio from a unification of favela residents, mostly young black people in search of expression, this iFood partner NGO since 2020 it has made a difference today for 17 million people who live in more than 5,000 Brazilian communities.

And the transformations it carries out are carried out on several fronts, through cultural, sporting and educational activities.

Its projects are recognized for their scope and results. An example is the program Favela Mothers, undertaken in partnership with UNESCO during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Targeted at mothers who head their homes, the initiative delivered basic food baskets and chips with free internet for children to attend online classes during the period in which schools migrated to the virtual world.

The action generated more than R$ 870 million and distributed more than 50 thousand tons of food. And it earned CUFA the iBest, MTV Miaw, Ação Solidária Paraná and Post-Pandemic Legacy of the Social Entrepreneur of the Year awards from Folha de S.Paulo.

Mães da Favela continues with actions in 2023. In May, iFood carried out a campaign to collect donations on its app, which were donated to basic food baskets, “food voucher” cards worth R$ 100 and gas cylinders distributed to mothers from more than 5,000 favelas across Brazil.

Inclusive football

Another prominent program undertaken by the NGO is the Favela Cup, considered the biggest football championship between favelas in the world.

Every year, the tournament is attended by more than half a million young people, from the trials to the competition. And he has already revealed names such as Patrick de Paula, a player who is at Botafogo do Rio and has already played for Palmeiras.

CUFA is also present in promoting entrepreneurship – cause also embraced by iFood. The NGO is a partner, for example, of Expo Favela Innovation, a business fair whose exhibitors are entrepreneurs and startups from the favela.

The objective of the event is to give visibility to these ventures and promote meetings with investors who can accelerate the initiatives and generate business. This year, the Expo Favela Innovation, which takes place in various regions of the country, will hold its first edition in Rio on July 29, 30 and 31.

Specifically, female entrepreneurship is a central theme of the program Favela Women, a partnership carried out by CUFA with Caixa and Impact Hub.

“The project seeks to bring courses for women living in favelas to qualify through a social innovation laboratory, in the states of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo and in Salvador, Bahia”, explains Celso Athayde, founder of CUFA and CEO of Favela Holding, a group of companies that aims to develop favelas and their residents.


National capillarity

CUFA has a range of positive impact that is found in iFood, a Brazilian company, a worthy partner in terms of reach. Celso Athayde highlights that the partnership “ended up reaching national reach”.

This scope is reflected in the numbers of donations made possible through the delivery app. In 2022, more than 2.7 million were raised for the NGO through the platform.

Only in first quarter of 2023, the amount raised by iFood for CUFA reached more than R$ 862 thousand.

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