CUFA - Central Única das Favelas (Central Union of Slums) is an institution recognized internationally within the political, sportive, social and cultural spheres. It is a product of the union between the youth from various poor communities of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, created with the purpose to allow them the opportunity to share their talents, ideas, social attitudes, and simply their will to live.
Among the founders is MV BILL, Brazilian Rapper and advocate for social respect who was also recognized by UNESCO as one of the 10 most active militants of the world in the last 10 years. Another one of the organization’s founders is singer Nega Gizza, a strong feminine reference and role model. Known and respected by her devotion to social causes, Gizza is the president of the International Street Basketball League and director of documentaries such as: “ Sou Sou”, and “ Obra Prima”.
Cufa is present on all of the 27 Brazilian states, equipping more than 50,000 youth through programs and projects offered in various areas.
In 2009 CUFA crossed the oceans and initiated the international branches in countries such as: Germany, Argentina, Austria, Bolivia, Chile, Columbia, Spain, Hungary, Italy, Paraguay, Portugal, and the United States of America.
CUFA became known internationally through its sports. LIIBRA, The International Street Basketball League and Reis da Rua, Street Kings, took the Harlem Globe Trotters and the Chilean and American National Street teams to Brazil to dispute for the Street Basketball World Title.
2009 was the first annual “Viradão Esportivo”, a sports marathon that consists of two days dedicated to recreation and sports held at street parks, gymnasiums, and public gathering spaces.
Within Brazil, CUFA has stood out for taking big festivals to suburb communities such as the anniversary of Rio de Janeiro to be celebrated in The City of God for two consecutive years, and also Labor Day to Nova Iguacu and New Year’s Eve to the Baixada Fluminence.
Today CUFA is a prominent entity recognized for promoting Festivals and Events like the HUTUZ, the biggest Rap music festival of Latin America which happens each year in November in Rio de Janeiro. The event features cinematography, debates, performances and vast variety of activities all linked to the Hip-Hop theme. Other festivals like Brandan, Brasil Break Dance and RPB ( Pop Rap Music) are tournaments where competitors dispute for municipal, state and national titles.
Cine-CUFA, is a film festival catering exclusively to projects produced by members of the favelas as well as from other low income neighborhood communities.
Among the many new projects is the ANU, designed to identify and give public recognition to the initiatives geared toward the social and cultural equilibrium. Samba de Rua, in English Samba in the Streets is a festival with the intention to reveal new talents and launch new artists within the Brazilian music genre.