Parada de Lucas, Brazil

On Air
May 2008



AfroReggaeDigital is a radio training facility based in AfroReggae’s community centre in Parada de Lucas, a favela on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

ARD provides classes in radio production to young members of the community and broadcasts their shows over the internet.

About the project

In 2007 RadioActive partnered with AfroReggae and Izzy Fairbairn to set up, a radio training school and internet radio station broadcasting from AfroReggae’s nucleo in the favela of Parada de Lucas, Rio de Janeiro.

The project was funded by an amazing fundraiser night – Favela Feva – held at London’s Guanabara in Covent Garden, with DJs Gilles Peterson (BBC Radio 1), DJ Marky (Innerground, Brazil), Bryan G (Movement/V), Benji B (1Xtra BBC) and DJ Limão (Jungle Drums Sambatralia) and MCs Dynamite and Skibadee, with BBC Radio 1 broadcasting Bailey’s drum and bass show live on air from backstage at the event.

The radio studio and training course are now run by AfroReggae, a Brazilian NGO seeking to divert favela youths from entanglement in the drug trade.

Their work includes:

  • Mediating between rival drug factions
  • Establishing cultural centres in the favelas
  • Raising awareness through talks, concerts and events
  • Employing favela residents in music, IT and cultural projects
  • Providing professional training in theatre, dance, music and computing
  • Starting and developing new bands, circuses, theatre groups, exhibitions, and much, much more

Favelas are the slums that have built up over the last 40 years around Brazil’s major cities. There are almost 5000 armed children working in drug factions in Rio’s favelas.  The youth of each favela are not allowed to go into favelas under the command of different drug lords. They are brought up thinking of people in those favelas as ‘the enemy’. Parada de Lucas and the neighbouring community Vigario Geral have experienced horrific violence for the last 20 years, as two gangs have used it as a battleground to fight over drug-selling territory.

AfroReggae has over 70 social projects aiming to show these children another way.  They have set up nuclei, community arts and cultural centres, in several different favelas. This is where AfroReggae base most of their activities in each of the favelas where they work.  They aim to bring people from different favelas together through their projects, one of which is AfroReggaeDigital.

Main Objectives

AfroReggaeDigital provides radio training to residents of Parada de Lucas, teaching them to produce and present their own radio shows on the station. The goal of the station is to provide residents with the skills, confidence and platform to express their views, tell their stories and create radio shows / showreels.

Our Role

  • designed the studios
  • fitted the acoustic material
  • designed and built the studio desk
  • supplied and installed studio equipment
  • designed and built the website
  • connected internet radio stream with streaming server
  • ran a 6 month training course for local young people
  • recruited and trained young people from the local area to make radio programmes and run the station
  • put on music and dance events to promote the station


Izzy Fairbairn


With Special thanks to radio trainers Helen Clegg and Fabio Machado, volunteers Kasey Coates, Juliano Fiori, Stephen Fleg, Portuguese Interpreter Ritchie Nicola, AfroReggaeDigital student Ariana da Silva, the whole community of Parada de Lucas and of course Grupo Cultural AfroReggae for their involvement and support.

Find out more

Rua da Lapa, nº 180 – Centro
Rio de Janeiro – RJ
CEP: 200.21-180

(0xx21) 3095-7200

Assessoria de Imprensa:
Rafael Ruas
[email protected]