Portuguese Language Blog

NGO Focus: Afro Reggae Posted by on Mar 17, 2009 in Culture

Today we’re going to look at one of Rio de Janeiro’s most successful non-profit organizations.

Afro Reggae started as a newspaper in the Vigario Geral favela in Rio, discussing Afro-Brazilian culture and music, like reggae and hip hop. The movement itself was inspired by a police massacre in the favela that left a group of innocent civilians dead.  In 1993, a community center was created for the community’s children, to provide them with cultural activities and opportunities they wouldn’t otherwise have. The center offered dance classes, drumming instruction, and soccer games. It later expanded to favelas in other parts of the city and now has 65 current projects.

The NGO now offers a wide variety of cultural and educational activities, including theater classes, homework help, and circus classes, besides dance, percussion, and performing opportunities. It also has partnerships with other non-profits and private companies to help urbanize favelas and offer residents new opportunities. The organization seeks to use social projects and development to reduce violence and poverty.

Afro Reggae is also a popular bloco (street band) that attracts thousands of people to a local parade during Carnival, and also performs at venues in Brazil and internationally throughout the year.

The NGO was featured in a full-length documentary called “Favela Rising.” Check out the trailer below and look for the movie on DVD.

To visit Afro Reggae’s official website, click here.

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  1. Michelle:

    Hello, I am a teacher in Canada and I was hoping you could help out one of my students who is doing some research on Brazil. He has some questions that he would desperately like answered by someone living in Brazil and I have had some trouble getting responses. If you don’t have time to answer the questions do you know someone who would. Thanks for your time.

  2. Rocinhajj:


    I am from Rocinha living here and maybe can help your student of they have questions.


  3. tarek:

    Very impressive, I like to support this move and could help advertising, fund raising etc.

    check http://www.bidnacapoeira.org, looks like we have the same mission, teaching kids for free!