Cufa will launch Favela’s World Forum to set G20 agenda

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To ensure that the demands of marginalized communities are on the G20 agenda, Cufa (Central Única das Favelas) will launch the World Forum of Favelas in Rio de Janeiro (RJ) in September. The idea is to hold international conferences to raise solutions for residents of marginalized areas in different regions of the world.

The meetings, scheduled to start on May 6th, will include debates on combating inequality, innovation, entrepreneurship, and diversity over three months. Countries such as South Africa, Angola, Colombia, Spain, Mexico, and the United States will host the Cufa delegation.

“This is the first time that this debate will be present at the G20,” says Celso Athayde, founder of the organization and CEO of Favela Holding. “We hope to amplify the voices of people living in favelas and help them organize their own discourse, ensuring that their perceptions are heard.”

Although not directly related to the G20 Summit, which will be hosted by Brazil in November, the World Forum of Favelas plans to bring social issues highlighted in the conferences to the leaders of the world’s largest economies.

The goal is to ensure that the needs of marginalized populations are taken into account in international decision-making.

The conferences have been planned since 2022 when Celso Athayde received the Social Entrepreneur of the Year award from the World Economic Forum in Davos.

He was chosen by the Schwab Foundation after winning the Social Entrepreneurship Award, held by Folha in partnership with the sister entity of the World Economic Forum, to join the community of social innovators linked to the forum.

In his speech in Switzerland, Athayde stated that the economic forum was very important for the world, but that he couldn’t be the only favela resident to deserve that award – and therefore, it was necessary to create the favela’s own forum.

“My agenda is to democratize everything I have achieved, my purpose is collective,” said the social entrepreneur at the time.

In Brazil alone, about 16 million people live in favelas, according to data from the 2022 Demographic Census, released by IBGE (Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics). Worldwide, the number of people living in precarious housing reaches one billion, according to the UN.

“I believe that the G20 can be a tool to enable communication between those who suffer the consequences of inequalities and those who have been producing them for so long,” says Athayde.

Among the issues that will guide the World Forum of Favelas are: reducing inequalities; combating hunger and poverty; sustainability; human rights, race, and gender; challenges of marginalized areas globally. “The themes of favelas have never been present in international forums. We want to change that,” says the founder of Cufa.

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