PODCAST: S4:EP12–Robert Malengreau, UMRio/ONERio

Join us for S4:EP12 of the Sports Philanthropy Podcast as Robert Malengreau, Founder and Director of UMRio/ONERio, sits down with our host, Roy Kessel, to discuss how his program impacts the lives of the participating youth and the wider community. 

British-Brazilian Robert founded UMRio/ONERio in Morro do Castro favela in 2013, following three years of research into the politics of inclusion in Rio de Janeiro’s favelas at Oxford University. Over the past seven years, Robert has worked closely with the young people of UMRio, to constantly develop and improve programs that meet the specific needs of children and young people in Morro do Castro.

Robert has since stepped back from Associação UMRio/ONERio’s programmatic implementation in Morro Do Castro to concentrate on developing the impact that ONERio’s rugby for development theory of change can have in both Morro Do Castro and in similar organizations that share our belief in the power of rugby for development.

Before founding UMRio/ONERio, Robert also played for the Oxford University Greyhounds rugby team and retains a keen interest in the sport. He lives in Rio de Janeiro.

ONERio is a UK-based charity committed to providing rugby for development theory of change to vulnerable communities. ONERio primarily provides organizational and fundraising support to their partner organization, Associação UMRio/ONERio.

UMRio works to support young people aged 6-21 through rugby, education, employability workshops, and healthcare. Their theory of change is based on the understanding that real change to a young person’s behavior, situation, opportunities, and choices are dependent on the way they relate to their education, the range of their personal network, their access to healthcare services, and how they see their futures. UMRio’s successful implementation of their methodology highlights the impact theory of change can make on both the lives of the participating young people and the wider community. 

Robert Malengreau joins our host Roy Kessel on S4:EP12 of the Sports Philanthropy Podcast


  • 00:00 Introduction
  • 00:55 Robert’s Background
  • 04:50 Going to Brazil
  • 09:00 Rugby in the UK
  • 10:45 The Value of Education
  • 14:30 History of the Favelas
  • 20:20 How to Break Through Barriers
  • 24:40 Operating UMRio
  • 29:45 How is UMRio Funded
  • 34:15 Robert’s Biggest Accomplishments
  • 40:50 How to Support UMRio
  • 41:45 Conclusions


Kelsey Donnolo

Kelsey Donnolo

Sports Philanthropy Network

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