About CUFA

Present for more than 20 years in Brazilian favelas, Central Única das Favelas (CUFA) promotes cultural activities related to sport, education, citizenship and art, through Hip-hop culture, promoting integration and social inclusion in the favela.

CUFA was founded by Celso Athayde, who, even though he is not at the institution, still continues as a volunteer, and won the 2022 World Economic Forum Impact and Innovation Entrepreneur award, in the Swiss city of Davos, in which the honor is offered by Schwab Foundation.

CUFA has Favela Holding as its sponsor, a group with more than 20 companies focused on the favela and which has become its economic arm. In fact, the organization even won the 2022 Caboré Award, in the marketing service category.

CUFA is present in all states of Brazil plus the Federal District, in addition to several countries, including the United States, when, in 2015, it had its Global Week, at the United Nations (UN), which granted the institution three Chairs: Housing, African Descent and Youth. On this occasion, the headquarters of CUFA Global was inaugurated, in the Bronx neighborhood, in New York.

Among the institution’s main projects are the Taça das Favelas, the largest football championship between favelas in the world, Top CUFA and the Taça das Favelas de Free Fire. CUFA is also a social partner of Expo Favela Innovation, the largest favela business fair in the world, organized by Favela Holding.

CUFA participated in Mastercard’s Strive project, which digitizes hundreds of thousands of micro-enterprises in favelas in various regions of Brazil and the world. In addition, he had extensive participation in the creation of the Social Innovation Laboratories for the Women of Favela Program, in partnership with Caixa Econômica Federal and Impact Hub.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, CUFA, in partnership with UNESCO, used its capillarity to connect the favela and the asphalt and alleviate as much as possible the difficulties that favela residents face. Through the Mães da Favela program, the institution delivered basic food baskets, physical and digital, and chips with free internet, thus ensuring greater food security and the education of many children, who needed to migrate to online classes. The benefits are directed to women in the favelas, who head their households. Due to its knowledge of these territories, CUFA understood that by supporting these women, it was possible to create a much larger protection network and, as a result, the project impacted more than 17 million people.

These actions, consequently, gave CUFA the iBest award, the country’s biggest award in the digital market, in the social actions category, and the MTV Miaw 2020 award, for the Transforma Miaw Hero in the Pandemic category, the Folha Award, among others.

In 2019, CUFA won the Caio Award in the sporting events category for organizing the Taça das Favelas, the year in which it was held for the first time in São Paulo, the city with the largest number of favelas in the country.

In 2022, the institution realized another big dream, which was the hosting of the first edition of the National Favela Cup, Favelão 2022, which had its grand finals in November, at Arena Barueri, with live broadcast on open TV.


2007 King of Spain Award – Partnership with Globo and Fantástico
Created by rapper MV Bill and Celso Athayde, the documentary “Falcão: Meninos do Tráfico”, which portrays the reality of young people from the community who became involved in a life of crime, received the King of Spain International Journalism Award at the hands of King Juan Charles the First I.

2010 Darcy Ribeiro Award
The Education and Culture Commission and the Board of Directors of the Chamber of Deputies awarded CUFA (Central Única das Favelas) for its work in Brazilian education. The originality, size or exemplary character of the educational actions developed were criteria that defined the decision.

2019 Caio Award – in partnership with Globo – Taça das Favelas São Paulo
The Caio Award, considered the “Oscar of Events”, has as its main objective to reward the work of companies and professionals in the Brazilian Events and Tourism Industry, providing recognition in their segment and in the media. CUFA (Central Única das Favelas) was awarded for its work in the São Paulo Favela Cup.

2020 MIAW MTV – Transforms MIAW Hero of the pandemic
Chosen by popular vote, CUFA (Central Única das Favelas) won the category “Transform Miaw Hero in the Pandemic”, for its social work in combating the effects of Covid-19 in the most vulnerable regions, the favelas.

2020 Folha Social Entrepreneurship Award
The objective of the award is to recognize companies that promote equity, encourage writing and reading, support refugees and decent housing. CUFA (Central Únicas das Favelas) was awarded for its action during the pandemic, and solutions created for this period through entrepreneurship.

2021 IBest Awards
Due to the social work carried out, CUFA (Central Única das Favelas) was awarded in the Social Action category. The Ibest award is the biggest award related to the internet and the digital market.

2021 Band Inspira Rio 2021 Award
In the “Social Responsibility” category, CUFA (Central Única das Favelas) was the big winner of the “Band Inspira Rio Award”, which aims to reward and honor companies that propagate good ideas, encourage, invest and undertake.

2022 Social Entrepreneur – Schwab Foundation
Celso Athayde, founder of Central Única das Favelas (CUFA) and current CEO of Favela Holding, won the Award in the Social Entrepreneur category by Schwab, becoming part of the community of social innovators linked to the World Economic Forum.

2022 Caboré Award – Favela Holding
Social entrepreneur Celso Athayde, CEO of Favela Holding and founder of CUFA (Central Única das Favelas), won the Caboré Award, from Revista Meio & Mensagem, in the marketing service category. The award, from the communications industry in Brazil, is considered the “Oscar” of the advertising market.

2022 Nomination – São Paulo State Government Award
Social entrepreneur Celso Athayde, CEO of Favela Holding, and founder of Central Única das Favelas (CUFA), competed for the São Paulo State Government Award for the Arts in 2022. The award aimed to recognize and honor people who are connected to the cultural and creative construction of the state of São Paulo.

2023 EFMD Global Ecosystem Development Awards
The honor was given to CUFA (Central Única das Favelas) for the success of the Favela Business School campaign, created in 2022 with the aim of bringing knowledge of entrepreneurial education and management knowledge to an audience that does not have access to business schools .

Discover the Pillars of CUFA

Humanitarian Action

CUFA has always been guided by and recognized for the humanitarian actions it developed. During the pandemic period, this characteristic of the institution gained even more strength. In this space, you can see the actions that CUFA implements to help favela residents alleviate the difficulties of social isolation.

Art and culture

The favela is characterized as a great power of art and culture. CUFA, aware of this, has always strengthened, developed and encouraged projects, events and artistic-cultural activities, providing opportunities for favela residents to develop their talents and gifts.

Community and Security

CUFA is always attentive to the well-being and security policies of favelas. Here you can check out the partnerships and projects that the institution develops, dialoguing with the most diverse sectors of society, thinking about the well-being of the entire community.

Human rights

All of CUFA’s actions, in the most diverse areas, focus on Human Rights, as a recognized institution and holder of three seats at the United Nations (Housing, Youth and African Descent).


In this session, you can see how CUFA’s actions are contributing to the economic development of Brazilian favelas.


The favela resident is a born entrepreneur. Because of this premise, CUFA has always encouraged and encouraged entrepreneurship in favelas throughout Brazil, through projects and partnerships, with the most diverse sectors of society.


CUFA has always seen sport as a great tool for social inclusion. The institution is a reference in the creation and idealization of sporting activities aimed at favela residents, being at the forefront of some of these actions. Among the major events developed by CUFA, the Favelas Cup, the CUFA Fight Festival (FLC) and LIBBRA (Brazilian Street Basketball League) stand out.

Family and Health

Humanity is going through one of the worst health crises in its history. CUFA is attentive and concerned about the health of the favela population. Here you can follow the actions that the institution develops for the health of residents of these territories.