Estrela da Favela is an educational project in the favela Mangueira, founded in 2012 by the Dutchman Edwin Roodenburg and the Brazilian Edna Silveira. Before Estrela da Favela was founded, Edwin had already set up tennis schools in the most dangerous favelas in Rio, Edna had more than twenty years of working experience in an orphanage. Nowadays five teachers work at Estrela da Favela, a sports instructor and a psychologist. Since 2016, a cook is providing healthy and nutritious meals. In addition, a varying number of volunteers and interns do a lot of work.
On a daily basis Estrela da Favela teaches more than 100 children from the favela Mangueira, ranging from 4 to 14 years old. They receive math, Portuguese, geography, history, and English. Moreover, a lot of attention is paid to norms, values and social skills.
Estrela da Favela uses sports activities to teach children that sport is not only healthy, fun and relaxing but also educational. Through sport, children learn at a young age that rules and structure are necessary to reach goals together. They are taught to work together, set goals and show commitment to achieve these goals, in classes of (girls) football, (beach) tennis and volleyball.
A psychologist examines about 30 traumatized children with their parents / caretakers. She provides therapy or referring them for further treatment.
Our goal is to prepare the children for further education and to teach them norms, values and social skills, so they develop a solid base to enter society. We pay extra attention to the development of girls, because they will soon raise the next generation. Only strong women can bring up changes in the favelas in the extremely macho oriented favela culture.
Several children have achieved access to higher education. But the greatest success is that – in the more than five years of our existence – no girl became pregnant. Unfortunately, in all those years one boy was unable to resist the temptations of a life in crime, but luckily he came to understanding and is again on the right track.