The project aims to provide children in the Recife/Olinda region with a safe childhood and adolescence and to improve their quality of life, to build their confidence and self-esteem and teach them social and ethical values for the future.
Recife is located in the northeastern area of Brazil. This region has always been known as the most poverty stricken area of the country. Even though the coastal city of Recife has developed into a busy tourist beach resort, there are still a large number of people in the city who are living disadvantaged lives and you can help them, especially the children, to improve themselves and their future prospects.
In Recife the majority of its populations continue to survive difficult economic situations. To them, their everyday life is a continuing battle for survival. The situation has worsened with the increasing number of families from the rural parts of Brazil who continue to flock to Recife in hope for employment and a better life. They are met instead with disappointment. As a result, they often find themselves in a worse situation.
In addition, urban congestion in the city slums have contributed to the rise of street crimes and violence as well as social problems such as alcoholism, prostitution, marijuana and other forms of drug abuse, HIV-AIDS infections and other sexually transmitted infections, domestic violence, abuse and high illiteracy.
School abscences are one of the biggest educational problems in Brazil. Work under the age of 16 is forbidden by law, however Brazil has many cases of child labor. Children from large poor families are encouraged to start working from the age of 10 in order to help their parents, despite the law of compulsory education between the ages of 10 and 14. Other reasons for school non-attendance are the lack of sufficient school places and the high examination failure rate.
Malnutrition also affects the intellectual development of children in Brazil, giving them little chance of adapting to an educational environment. The standards of primary and secondary public education have fallen in recent times. Since the country has invested little in education, public education standards have dropped and the middle class have moved their children to private schools. Nowadays, most all middle class citizens send their children to private school.
The Teachers' Challenges
Teachers at state-funded schools face steep challenges in their overflowing classrooms. Public school classes are officially limited to around 30 students; however, staff shortages and lack of space in many rural schools mean that up to 50 children frequently fill a single classroom. In contrast, private schools usually have only 12 students per class. Because of the challenges of controlling large classrooms, most Brazilian teachers rarely attempt interactive work, so lessons are often reduced to constant copying.
In addition to overcrowding, state-funded schools also suffer from a lack of financial resources. Hands-on science lessons are frequently unavailable to most state-funded schools because they cannot afford laboratories. In contrast, the majority of private schools have laboratories, which give students an academic advantage. Inequality between what the state-funded schools receive in comparison to private schools can clearly be frustrating for teachers; however, the majority make the best of what they have.
Teachers admit that they needed better preparation and higher pay. Public school teachers often work very long hours to earn a living, meaning that they have less time to mark schoolwork and end up taking shortcuts such as creating tests with quick answer questions instead of essays, leaving students' writing skills largely undeveloped.