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Photo essay: Gol de Letra

 Street News Service 06 December 2019

‘Gol de Letra’ is a charity founded by two former Brazilian national football players to bring sport and hope to residents of Caju, one of Rio de Janiero’s oldest favelas. Photographer Nicolae Stoian spent ‘five amazing days’ days there. This exclusive photo series is available for download now. (212 Words) - By Nicolae Stoian

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Walking through Caju favelas. Photo: Photographers for Hope/ Nicolae Stoian

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A student working on a computer. Photo: Nicolae Stoian/ Photographers for Hope

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Teachers helping an injured girl back to school. Photo: Photographers for Hope/ Nicolae Stoian

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Students heading home after school. Photo: Photographers for Hope/ Nicolae Stoian

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Dancing performance at Olimpiada de Integracao. Photo: Photographers for Hope/ Nicolae Stoian

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A young boy watching students play football. Photo: Photographers for Hope/ Nicolae Stoian

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Photo: Photographers for Hope/ Nicolae Stoian

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A goalkeeper defending his team goal. Photo: Photographers for Hope/ Nicolae Stoian

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A young student proud of his artwork. Photo: Photographers for Hope/ Nicolae Stoian

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An exctited student after his football team won the match. Photo: Photographers for Hope/ Nicolae Stoian


In September 2010 I became involved in Photographers for Hope.

My task was to depict the power of sports as a tool for positive social change and to show how sports can help to transform the life of a child growing up in poverty.  I chose to photograph "Gol de Letra", a non-profit organisation founded by two former Brazilian national football players.

It is located next to Caju, one of the oldest favelas in Rio de Janeiro, where daily life consists of illegal trafficking as a matter of course, and where public education is already a failure. This institution brings hope to children, teenagers and adults in this part of the city.

I spent five amazing days with members of this organization and it was a powerful experience. The children's enthusiasm was contagious; they were transported from their everyday world to a place where they could believe they could be anyone and do anything they wanted.

Children and adolescents were educated in arts, culture, computers, reading, writing and social skills. The teachers and other specialists were from different parts of Rio; some were volunteers, some were paid. What they had in common was their dedication to and love of these kids.

Welcome to their story.