Published On: July 9, 2014

Cheer For Peace

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Sunday, June 15, 2014, was an amazing day in Vila Torres, Curitiba, as it witnessed its own special World Cup Fan Fest. The event, the Give & Game Fan Fest for the Rest in Vila Torres, was organized by #CheerForPeace.

Vila Torres is the most central and oldest of the many favelas in Curitiba. It’s a tough existence here, people with next-to-nothing do what they can despite the challenges that face them on a day-to-day basis.

Like all of the city and the country, people in Vila Torres love their football. But unlike the more well-to-do segments of society, the community here has little 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.


The event was a huge success. About 200 kids participated: playing games; making juice with the peddle-powered bike machine/juice maker; eating organic vegan food; playing football; dancing; getting their faces painted, etc.

What transpired took weeks of building, working with the community, and pulling together whatever was available to make a truly special day for all the football loving fans.

A big thanks goes out to all who supported, donated, came and shared in the day. And this was just the first of many more events to come. Much respect must be given to the extraordinary women behind the local school, the Organização de Desenvolvimento do Potencial Humano (ODPH): Valdimê, Kauann and all the gang. With the leadership, strength and love these remarkably caring and resilient women have, the future will indeed be female!


Canadian students from Alberta and their teacher Nick arrived and donated a load of green tops, boots, and footballs. Their description of the event is online: “From Canada to the Vila Torres Favela.”

Also a coach from the local football team, Parana FC, kindly came and gave a free training class to anyone who was interested. We discovered some great little players in Vila Torres, both boys and girls.

Equating healthy eating with a party was a first for Vila Torres. This great event with great food (no junk food) was thanks to generous donations from the Organic Growers Association of the Mercado Municipal De Curitiba – ASCESME. Special thanks also goes out to the amazing chef, Igor Oliveira, and the man responsible for sorting all the great organic food for the event: Sebastião Martins Coelho.


Although some kids were not too happy with the food, no doubt preferring soda and hot dogs, the event at least opened a wider debate about healthy eating, local organic markets, and wider issues for a healthier local economy.

Advance notice of the event was sent to a host of local and international media, many of whom said they would come to cover the event, but only one came. Subsequently, there have been no reports from any media outlets until now in CIE. The stories reporting the event were posted on a few brief blogs by some small groups and individuals. The following day Irish radio did cover the story for five 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 a beautiful opera singing presentation from English-Brazilian artist Penelope. Albert Hall it wasn’t, but all there felt it was a perfect end to a very special day.

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

[This article was written by Duncan Crowley from CheerForPeace and was edited by CIE.]


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