The story so far…
Brazil is the fifth largest country in the world. The disparity between the rich and the poor in Brazilian society is one of the largest. The richest 1% of Brazil's population control 50% of its income. The poorest 50% of society have to live on just 10% of the country's wealth. An estimated 8-10 million children make their living on the streets in Brazil. Street children are an urban problem which has its roots in rural poverty, neglect and the enforced, even violent, displacement of large numbers of people from their land. The options that face the street children (meninos de rua) are few. These consist of: finding food in rubbish bins or on refuse tips; being financially exploited by street sellers or as shoe shiners; becoming involved in stealing, prostitution,; drug running and drug taking. Street Children often receive beatings from the police or members of the public and also face imprisonment, malnutrition, disease and AIDS. Generally a teenager in Rio is twice as likely to be murdered as in one in Bogotá, Colombia, considered Latin America’s most violent city. According to most conservative estimates, four children are killed every day in Brazil.
Project Casa de Ensaio
Partner la casa de Ensaio
1. Project Casa de Ensaio
In Campo Grande (Mato Grosso do Sul), SONIA has been supporting the Casa de Ensaio, that works with ex-street children and with youth from very poor families. A certificate of school attendance is a prerequisite for admission to the centre. In the first three years of its partnership with Casa de Ensaio, SONIA provided scholarships to seven young people amongst the most promising to support a one year special crash course to allow them to pass their entrance exams to the public University. All of them were admitted to the University. These results are excellent, the average for the country being at around 35 to 40%. Since 2007 SONIA has started a new initiative with the Casa de Ensaio. In order to respond to an increased demand for the type of education it provides, this institution rented new premises and increased the number of students it receives each year; in addition, rather than providing courses only over the week end, it started a more intensive programme. Consequently, it requested SONIA to finance the programme “Abrindo Portas” (Opening Window of Opportunities), which consists of providing scholarships to 10 volunteers (monitors and interns) and provides minimal salary complements for the young volunteer teachers, who are also ex-students of the centre. These young people created a Home Theatre Troupe within the Centre in order to improve their acting skills and develope an interesting and varied repertoire. In 2010, some of these volunteers joined in the management of the centre. SONIA ended its support to Casa de Ensaio in 2015 because local funding sources were made available.
2. Partner la casa de Ensaio
The Casa de Ensaio - Centro de Arte, Cultura, Educação e Meio Ambiente – was established in 1996. It is a voluntary organisation that works with vulnerable children (street children and/or children from very poor families). The organization reclaims these youth through non traditional educational activities, such as theatre, dance, music and paintings.Through these activities it operates social transformation by making them “responsible citizens”. The casa de Ensaio has received several prizes for its remarkable educational work, including the Prize Itaú UNICEF (2007), the Premio Funarte de Teatro Myriam Muniz (2008) and the Prizes IEL and “Pontinhos de Cultura” (Bridges of Culture) in 2010. It is an integral part of the Latin American Network of the Art for Social Transformation and operates as its secretariat for the Brazilian Network. It is being recognized as the Latin American reference point for Art for Transformation for vulnerable children and adolescents. For more details visit: www.casadeensaio.org.br