Jun 20, 2018

Celebrating the Brazilian June Festival

At the Projeto Velho Amigo Elderly Center we celebrated "Festa Junina" on June 19th. Our Senior ladies practiced the typical dances and prepared a party honoring their community.

Seniors were treated to typical Brazilian food, and dressed up like farmers, they enjoyed the festivities and danced the quadrilha (square dancing). After Carnival, Festa Junina, is the second most important popular celebration in Brazilian culture.

Festa Junina is the term used to describe the traditional festivities that happen at the beginning of the Brazilian winter in June. It is a month to honor rain, the harvest season and marital union.

Quadrilha (square dances) folk dances are a vital component of Festa Junina. The dances at the center were organized with 45 colorfully dressed Seniors, they chose a ‘bride and groom’ to act as the center of the spectacle.

The senior ladies practiced with a teacher from Projeto Velho Amigo for one month to prepare the show which was inspired by 17th-century French quadrilles! Everyone participated by singing traditional songs and dancing! The party was vibrant and highly convivial, the jovial dances were without a doubt the highlight of the Projeto Velho Amigo Festa Junina for the Senior Citizens.

We want to thank you for your continued donations and for helping us make a difference inside one of Sao Paulo's largest favelas. This project is a lifeline for so many of these women they feel alive when they come to the center!

Thanks to the activities offered at the center these women are able to fight depression, improve memory, reduce stress, improve sleep and delay cognitive decline. Please help us keep this project alive with your continued help, support and interest!!! 

Jun 7, 2018

Mother's Day Activities and Projects

Paulah Gauss called Projeto Velho Amigo with a special surprise for this Mother's Day she said, "I want to come down to the Insitute and sing for all the Senior Ladies!" We were thrilled! So we all got together on Friday, May 11th for a very special Mother's Day celebration.

All of the senior ladies came down to the center for the special surprise! We had 100% attendance with over 45 women present. They were very happy and they all brought a bit of food from their homes for a potluck lunch. They were so excited to share their homemade recipes with their friends.

We started the activities with some circle dancing led by a volunteer who regularly teaches dancing at the center to the senior ladies. They were gifted with a beautiful bag full of paper flowers and a small book and some other goodies! They were all so happy!

After the dancing, we had our special celebrity guest sing and dance for the ladies. Paulah Gauss had a repertoire of over 20 songs that she sang for all of them. They loved the songs because they were from their era. Some of the ladies even came up to the microphone to sing with her. They took photos and made videos of themselves singing and dancing.

Many of these women's lead hard lives and they struggle at home with their families. This was a very special time for them to feel loved and appreciated by their community of friends and volunteers. Some of the senior women suffer from diabetes and heart disease and they hadn't been out of their homes for some time so it was nice for them to get out and dance and sing. 

It is important for all these seniors to get out of the house and socialize Projeto Velho Amigo provides these amazing women with that opportunity. All of the seniors participating in this project have improved mental health and quality of life! They love sharing stories about how PVA has changed their lives for the better. 

Making the kind of commitment it takes to help these seniors each month is only possible because of the support of special individuals and foundations who provide the funds to help organize and sustain daily programs, classes, and activities for these senior citizens living inside one of Brazil's largest favelas. Thank you all for your continued support and donations!

Apr 3, 2018

Yearly Activities Heliopolis Elderly Center

Yearly Activities Heliopolis Elderly Center

 

February 10th: presentation of activities, information about The Velho Amigo Project objectives, what it is composed of, signing up for events, number of absences (allowed) in activities, among other information,  47 seniors attended;

February 23rd: "The importance of physical activity for older people" with professor Paulo Henrique Energy Institute,  36 seniors attended; 

March 30th: International Women's Day celebration, messages exchanged among the senior women present,  37 seniors attended

April 27th: movie session: Pixar: "How to live in a group and accept others", 20 seniors attended

May 25th: movie session: "How to activate your memory - 10 tips on how to improve your brain", 22 seniors attended

June 29th: we had planned to have a lecture on violence against older adults (but the speaker was confused about the time), so we had a dynamic group activity, 26 seniors attended

July 27th: Lecture on "Preventing Falls in the Elderly” – Presented by professionals from Sesc Ipiranga, 28 seniors attended

August 31st: Lecture on "Reusing Leftovers (food)" – Presented by professionals from Sesc Interlagos, 31 seniors attended

September 21st: We had a Spider Web Team Building Activity (led by our volunteer Clear), then a Circular Dance, the aim was to teach the group how to dance, as well as educating them about the benefits that dancing provides, 40 older adults attended

October 26th: In October we ended our monthly meetings for the year. The schedule for November and December 2017 was handed out. The community was introduced to d the new Social Worker who will give continuity to The Velho Amigo Project, 27 older adults attended

Total: 314 visits to our monthly meetings.

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