During this summer’s Olympic coverage, we all enjoyed seeing beautiful images of fun, lively Rio, and its gorgeous beaches, but there was one major aspect of the city that wasn’t broadcast — the favelas, or slums, which populate Rio and rarely sees electricity, proper sanitation, or a reliable police force.

But one woman has been working to transform the favelas for a very long time. Artist, TED talk speaker, and former favela inhabitant Mariluce María has launched the Favela Art Project to provide art education to children living in poverty and make tangible changes in their day to day lives.

The group has been painting over violent symbols and graffiti, filling the city with colorful murals and images of hope to erase the marks of war.  Marliuce reports that she’s seen profound changes in the kids’ behavior and state of mind since she’s started the Favela Art Project.

And I thought the Olympic games themselves were inspiring.

Related: 13 organizations helping Louisiana flood victims: Even if you can only give a little.

The Favelas Art Project is helping to change the face of the slums with these colorful murals. Brilliant!


If this project moves you as much as it did me, check out The Favela Art Project GoFundMe page which was started by another amazing woman, mom Kristin Camplese (a former Cool Mom Picks contributor) to see how even a small donation can translate into a new canvas or paints for a child in need, and help them beautify a world that will benefit from a child’s creativity and hopeful vision.

You can make a donation to The Favela Art Project GoFundMe; If you give $125 or more, you can receive your own piece of original artwork. Thanks to Kristin Camplese for letting us know about this amazing project.