Centro de Escalada Urbana

Climbing program for disadvantaged roots in favelas

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Rocinha, Rio de Janeiro
BR Brazil
Web http://www.escaladaurbana.com/
Maturity

Mature

About the project Edit

C.E.U. (Centro de Escaladas Urbanas) is a grassroots climbing program for disadvantaged youth from Rio de Janeiro’s many favelas.

In what ways is this project unique and creative? Edit

It is the first school of its kind in all of Brazil, focused on making rock climbing more accessible and using it as an innovative and engaging tool to promote self-confidence, a healthy/active lifestyle as well as greater appreciation and respect for the environment.

The idea that rock climbing could be used as a tool to engage and even rehabilitate youth is completely ground-breaking in Rio de Janeiro and one that we believe can truly create profound and sustainable change for its’s youth.

What is the social value of this project? Edit

The objectives of the C.E.U. is to create a safe space and trustworthy group of friends, build self-confidence as well as more focused and healthy lifestyles, introduce a fresh and exciting sport that has previously been inaccessible to the less privileged classes of Rio de Janeiro, as well as help train a new generation of Brazilian climbers.

The project helps create a stronger appreciation and respect for the environment by exposing youth to Rio de Janeiro’s extensive natural beauty and creates income generating opportunities for youth interested in working as local tourism guides or by managing the rock gym.

What is the potential of this project to expand and develop? Edit

What was the triggering factor of this project? Edit

"C.E.U.'s co-founder, Asa, always had a long lasting passion for climbing. In 2003 he made a trip to Brazil during which he had planned to climb the famous mountains “Dois irmãos” but he was told that it was too dangerous, because of the gang wars going on in the favela located on this mountain.

That event was the spark that made Asa wonder: what if he could create a program to teach the kids of the favelas to climb, which could offer an alternative non-violent activity for them but also restore the value of the mountains to its inhabitants?
In 2010, a grant from National Geographic made this idea possible.

Meanwhile, another guy named Andrew, who has worked for 8 years at Canadian NGO called Schools Without Border and acts now a professional climbing instructor, had a dream of creating a climbing program for underprivileged youth in Rio.

Together, Asa and Andrew launched the program CEU: Centro de Escalada Urbana, which promotes climbing as a sport but also as a culture, lifestyle, and a tool for many other aspects of their lives in the community. "

What is the business model of this project? Edit

Social hybrid business model: " Asa contributed to the fundraising effort by creating a company called BeyondGear, which “produces fair wage lifestyle adventure gear for outdoor enthusiasts” and whose sales profit goes to the CEU program. "


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