More about Maré Unida (Maré United)
Luta pela Paz operates in Complexo da Maré, a complex of 17 favelas in Rio de Janeiro, which is dominated by openly armed rival drug factions. Maré has undergone decades of violent territorial dispute between community based and openly armed rival drug factions, and although only a minority of young people are engaged in this problem, all young people growing up in Maré are directly affected.
To tackle this issue Maré Unida set up two satellite academies to unite young people living in opposing communities and facilitate cohesion between citizens. Using boxing and martial arts combined with education and personal development these sports attract young people to the project and serve to channel their aggression, transforming it into positive energy through teamwork, self-confidence, healthy competition and respect for the rules, opposing the excitement gangs, street crime and the drug trade offer them.
The two satellites offer daily access to sports and formal education classes, with some services centralised at the main Academy so as to encourage and facilitate movement across faction lines. This opportunity for young people to move around the community is the result of conscious