A mosaic was created with recycled materials that were collected by the children in the community. It took the children 3 weeks to collect the material needed to build the mosaic. The mosaic was designed by the Chilean/Mexican plastic artist Jose Maria "Kotik" Villela. The idea of the mural was based on Capoeira. The construction of the mosaic took two weeks with the help of volunteers and the children who worked hard to create the art at the entrance wall of the community center. The children learn about the possibilities of reusing items, increasing the ecological awareness of both the residents and children of the community with the wonderful idea creating art through recycling.
At Julio Otoni´s Community Center the children are still learning new things and developing their skills.
In art classes the children have created their own stories and scenarios by using models made of clay, each group of children were able to conjure up their own own world and share their stories with their companions. These stories included a football game, a pond with ducklings and a couple, a seabed, a forest, a desert, a beach and these were just a few of the imaginative scenes.
During a painting class the children learned how to mix and make different colors by just using primary colours and as a result found a universe of new colours they could us within their beautiful designs.
Also in music lessons, they were busy learning rhythms and musical notes, they even made their own drums using bottles and cans and enjoyed playing these new percussion instruments with their hands and feet!
The summer is an opportunity to join hands with the community of the favela, the neighbors of the street and some volunteers for new activities. This year the season has started with the preparation for the Christmas party, which also means the conclusion the year. For some the older ones this means that they will engage in other activities. This year the preparation for the Christmas party was quite especial. Children planned the party, prepared many of the presents that were offered to the parents, to the tutors and to their friends. Photos show how happy they felt at the occasion. 2011 was an year of good results for the project. Among other things there was the Vagalumes exhibition that was the result of a three month course on photography and video.
In 2012, there are new plans for increasing activities that bring the children outside the favela, so they can appreciate what the wonderful city of Rio offers in terms of museums, music and other activities free of charge.
The exhibition Vagalumes brought to Rio de Janeiro´s attention the talents of young children of Favela Julio Otoni. During three months volunteers coordinated by Frances Ridley trained the children to have a look into their community through the lens of a camera. Pips from Within, how Frances called it. Several of the children involved demonstrated to have talent for photography. They loved it. One of them Heverton did a number of outstanding photos.
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CEMINA has been developing programs that foster the empowerment of underserved communities in Brazil for over 20 years. I had the great privilege of visiting the Julio Otoni Community Center located in the favela of the same name in Rio de Janeiro (http://juliootoni.wordpress.com/sobre-o-projeito/about/).
The Center is busy preparing for the launch of a photography exposition this Sunday called "Peeps from Within" designed to give favela children a voice through film and photography. Viewers of the exhibition can gain a glimpse into the childrens' lives through their own eyes.
CEMINA worked very hard to obtain over 20 cameras from the UK that are now being utilized by the kids to take photos of everyday life in the community. According to Thais Corral, General Coordinator of the project, the exhibition adheres to the ideals of the center, "to create a home for people." Through teaching photography, film, dance and music, the Center's volunteers create the conditions for children to express themselves in new and creative ways, and in doing so gain confidence and self-respect. Many of the volunteers are professional artists in their respective areas.
If you would like to give money to support CEMINA's amazing work in Julio Otoni in providing low-income children with alternative activities out of school hours to prevent their involvement with drugs and gangs, click
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Rio de Janeiro,
Rio de Janeiro,