|Education for Brazil's slum children|
Near the city center, built on a former garbage dump, the shanty town has formed. Fortunately, though most of the town still consists of unstable shacks on poles, the houses are currently being replaced by modest, secure residences. Unfortunately, while the quality of housing may be improving, the shanty town is still an unstable, violent place to live.
Under the leadership of the priest of Alagados parish, two initiatives were launched. The first is an educational support center for children from six to eleven years, called “To be a child in Alagados.” The goal of this project is to improve the formation of children and to keep them off the street. The Brazilian system provides children with education for only half of the day, either the morning or the afternoon. In the favela’s this means that children learn the “law of the street” for the other half. Parents are often ignorant about the dangers or lack time to guide their children. The center also provides food for the eighty children it welcomes every day.
The second initiative is a training center for women. It aims to help women to find alternatives to crime for income and to support their children. Many of the young mothers find themselves raising their children alone. Without formation, they do not have acces to a normal profession. The center offers training in cooking, sewing and aesthetics, skills that are currently in high demand.