Hi I'm Cobey, I live in Brazil's largest Favela ,Rocinha. This is my story about living here.
People who live in the favela are called 'People of the hill'...
Our lives are very different from the lives of the 'People of the asphalt'
Life in the flavela can be hard, it is a city within a city, Favelas with a privileged location like Rocinha have relatively better standards than other shanty towns further away from jobs and services; and even within Rocinha there are richer and much poorer communities.
All houses in a Favela are different..
..Most homes now are made from brick and cement, a majority have running water and about 99% have electricity. But that wasn't always the case. Sanitation is a big problem - sewage flows down a large channel in the middle of houses. There are problems with Drug gangs making it unsafe for the people who live here. Kids do not have a proper education in a favela. We set up our own schools in the community.
There are no hospitals in a favela...
..The flavela are built with no oversights from a public authority, with no building codes and no public services, unlike the more affluent communities. People built our informal communities on their own, and due to the migration of rural Brazilians looking for work, the favela got bigger and more cramped.
The best part of living in a favela? The people!!
.. I am lucky enough to have running water and electricity to clean and cook. Some are not so lucky and big families live in one room houses. 25% of Rio's population live in homes like this. And when new houses need to be built, the community help each other.
..There is no access to heath care at the favela, and the cramped living standards and lack of basic sanitation have been a big factor of coronavirus spreading through the community. People have to go to the city to work, which has introduced the virus into the favela. There is no financial aid from the government so people have to choose between food or healthcare. People are getting sick and they have nowhere to go
Without the presence of a government, the residents have all come together to coordinate pubic projects and resources which brings a more zesty and creative city. Resourcefulness is common in a favela. We recycle in various ways, for buildings, and gardens which grow fruit for the community. We have art centres for young people who want to communicate to the world how we live. We all help each other. Together.