Favela United is a non-profit organisation officially registered in the Netherlands with football for development projects in Brazil, Mozambique and Ivory Coast.

Favela United inspires and creates change makers by using the transformational power of football to empower youth from marginalised communities. By offering them professional football and life skills training we provide them with the opportunity to create a better future for themselves and their community. By using and stimulating football as a non-formal learning tool we impact the lives of young people in three areas: economic empowerment; healthy lifestyles and security.

The Favela United program provides football activities to children with an emphasis on community building, teamwork, fair play, non-competition, gender inclusion, youth leadership and sport skills. The programme is guided by the principles of non-discrimination, best interest of the child, survival, development and protection of the child and finally the participation in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).

Using football as a vehicle, our aim is to reach 100,000 significantly marginalised children worldwide and give them the basic skills, knowledge and tools to become, champions of their own destiny – Favela United Life Captains.


The FU Life Captain methodology runs like a thread through our program. By incorporating the use of soft skills in our daily program we trigger the minds of youth to progressively make positive changes for themselves and to acquire the knowledge and tools to make a difference for their own future to become a champion of their own destiny. Any child that succeeds in our program receives an award and becomes a Favela United Life Captain.


Every child has the right to play and to join in a wide range of leisure activities. A place where they can learn the soft skills and improve their talents. Our program gives this right space to children, a place where they can improve their skills and education – a place where they feel safe and socially included.

Organisational history

Favela United was founded in 2014 by Patrick Hoep, former professional football player from SC Heerenveen and the Netherlands national youth team. After his return from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil where Patrick started as a coach in the Favela’s under the IBISS foundation, he set up his own initiative. Impressed by the talent he encountered yet the extreme limited opportunities that existed for these youth, he decided to take action. Favela United was born.

Although Patrick has been sharing his passion for football with the favela youth since 2010, the real kick-off started in 2014 with the Favela Rio United project, which was set up as a World Cup legacy. In 2015 Favela United expanded to Mozambique. Overwhelmed by the inequality, marginalisation and stigmatisation that the youth face in the bairro’s, Patrick and his coaches transformed Favela United in more than a football school.

Sport has the power to change the world…” Nelson Mandela



Dylan Ingham

Chief Marketing Officer at The Student Hotel – Principal Advisor

“I feel my 20+ years’ experience of commercial & non-for-profit brands and associations, many of them global sports give me the opportunity to share this knowledge and use the learnings and contacts to accelerate the impact of Favela United. Also I believe in the founder Patrick and his vision to support lives via the game”.

Vice- Chairman – Secretary

Zabih Etemadi

Lawyer/Partner at LOYR & Managing Partner at SportLife Management B.V.

“As a former professional footballer I share this big passion for the sport with Favela United. Besides that am I still very involved in the football world as a sport lawyer. The possibility for me to make a difference for marginalised youth worldwide drives me to be a part of the Favela United team”.


Raïssa Marteaux

Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Côte d’Ivoire

“I’m an entrepreneurial altruist passionately devoted to working with youth. Nothing satisfies me more than contributing to the overall growth of a person, business or organisation. A strong track record of success in the non-profit world (government and NGO) are used to support Favela United. Having paired my passion and experience with a drive to create impact we transform the lives of hundreds”.

Founder / Executive Coach

Patrick Hoep

Former ex player of SC Heerenveen

“Football changed my life In so many ways. I hope that I can inspire lots of youth and people from the communities to become local change makers for the next generation of children and support them to receive the essential life changing skills, education and tools to create a better future for themselves and their community. By putting all my passion and effort in the work I do, I hope to leave great moments of happiness and success stories for the children and community at large.”