Project #1689

Music Brings Hope and Opportunity to Youth in Rio

by Dreams Can Be Foundation

This update was translated by staff and volunteers of Dreams Can Be Foundation August, 2008 1689 Music Brings Hope and Opportunity to Youth in Rio ONG RECICLARTE immensely appreciates the contribution of all that had helped. We would like to say that our musical project continues taking care of the youth and children who would like to study music and a different way forward in their lives, they would never have this opportunity without the project and the help of individuals like Global Giving donors. This year we received 75 new pupils amount them children and youth from the slum quarter of the Grota do Surucucu which is adjacent to the city of Niterói, in the state of Rio de Janeiro. When the children and youth arrive they receive lessons of flute that constitutes the beginning of the process of musicianship. After this they start to study violin and to participate in the weekly assays in an orchestra. At this moment some pupils opt for other instruments such as the viola, cello, and the transversal flute. In our space we have four orchestras (A , B, C and D). The youth in Orchestras B and C, receive lessons of musical theory and private lessons on their instruments. The youth who have advanced to Orchestra A, play professionally at events such as weddings and graduations. They also receive formation to act as monitors giving lessons for other children in the Cultural Space of the Grota and in other communities. More and more children and youth want to participate in our project. We have increased our space and today we have three classrooms and a reading room. Beyond the music lessons we have been able to offer for the children other options such as drawing, reading and writing lessons and a course of preparation for the university. We can give some examples of young that through the musical project had been able to opt to a better life. Marivani was a nanny for a boy, she took him every day to his violin lessons. She wished also to learn that instrument but she could not pay the lessons. She knew about our project and she started studying with us. Today she is 22 years old. She works as a music teacher in addition to giving private lessons of violin for children. She is currently at University attending a course in Pedagogy at the Federal University of Niteroi. Tiago, 23 years old started with us when he was very young, 12 years old. Today he is studying violin in the college of Music of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. He plays for events such as weddings and he teaches violin for kids of our project and other projects. Wagner, 25 years old used to work as a bus attendant. He heard about our project and came here to visit us. He started the same way as the children, with the sweet flute. Today he plays violo cello he is also in the music college (UFRJ). He teaches violo celo, violin and sweet flute. He is not a bus attendant anymore. Jose Carlos started studying music when he was 13 years old. He had stopped going to school. He stopped in elementary school. Today he is 24 years old. He plays violo celo, guitar as well as the sweet flute. He went back to school and he finished high school. Now he is studying for the college entrance exam to enter to go to the University. Dreams Can Be Staff note: {This exam is very difficult for children from the favelas to pass as their inferior schooling does not in anyway prepare them to pass this test. The Universities in Brazil are free to members that can pass that test. But recently, the government has passed an affirmative action law which means that if these kids can pass this test- they are in a very good position to get a seat in one of these Universities.} We discovered that a small chance can change a life. Music brought to these youth the possibility to have a different life , much better than the other one without the music studies. It also brought the dream of graduating from an university that will allow them to be more cultured and capable people, to make the difference in the community from where they come. Our main objective is that these children and youth discover their potential and can have new perspectives of life; that they can grow and live a worthy future, and realize the fruits of their efforts and devotion. We also hope to be able to continue with this project and we hope that our students can help the other children have the same chance. Your contribution was of extreme importance and made possible the continuity of our projects in this year of 2008. Thanks a lot and please continue supporting us through Global Giving!


This text was translated by Dreams Can be Foundation and all notes between {} were added by us for clarity and more information by the translator.

The work of the “Grota” continues to grow. This year we have 60 new children attending the project, eight student teachers (older students from the project that help with the classes of the younger students) and three orchestras (A, B & C). Orchestra ‘A’ has performed in many diverse venues and situations this year, all of which being paid performances. The following is a list of some of the places where they were able to perform:

•Two performances were held in the Municipal Theatre of Niterói

•One Performance at the Brazilian Academy of Letters in Rio de Janeiro

•Instituto do Patrimônio Histórico e Artístico Nacional — (the institute of artistic national and historic heritage) in Rio de Janeiro

•Florália (a place where they performed concerts and also appeared at weddings)

•A concert was preformed in the city of Londrina in the state of Paraná.

•As well as various Christmas events around Niterói

{Dreams Can Be note: these performances are not only good for the students, giving them experiences and a larger world view, taking them to places that they might not have otherwise been in their lives, but it also gives society at large the chance to see children who are often of color performing on instruments that are usually in the domain of mostly white, middle and upper class children. This helps to change the erroneous perceptions of a society that can be very prejudicial in terms of the limits of people from the lower classes.}

Orchestras ‘B’ & ‘C’ also conducted presentations for different events in Niterói and Rio de Janiero. These are a few of the venues in which they were able to perform:

• The Hotel Gloria (historic hotel in Rio)

•Igreja N. Sra das Dores do Ingá (Our Lady of Pain of Ingá Church)

•Copacabana Palace (Rio’s most beautiful and historic hotel that has been the host to heads of state and other dignitaries for more than a century)

•For a social project ‘AMC na Baixada’ {one of the poorest regions in Rio}

We also have a group of youngsters which consists of mostly beginners that play the sweet flute who have also preformed at various establishments:

•Niterói Country Club

•Getulinho Hospital (Niterói)

•Castelinho do Flamengo Cultural Center(little castle of Flamengo)

This year we have begun the construction of our headquarters and have added more classrooms as well as a space for rehearsals and concerts. We have also begun to offer night courses for vestibular Preparation {college entrance exams that are generally out of reach for children from these neighborhoods}, which are open to anyone from the community.

Two of our students (the twins Walter and Wagener) have received scholarships to study music in the United States. They are currently there studying, as well as playing music. We are constantly in contact with them and they report that they are very happy.

Wagner and Walter Caldas are 21-year-old twin brothers from the community of Grota do Surucucu, in the town of Niteroi on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Their father, Jonas, was trained from his childhood to craft stringed instruments. Jonas and his wife, Homalia, encouraged their sons Walter and Wagner to take advantage of free music lessons offered in their community. They hoped the twins could gain a skill to take them places outside Niteroi.

Students for the past ten years at the Reciclarte Institute – an organization that offers music instruction to the young people of Grota do Surucucu – the Caldas brothers have already become accomplished violinists. Recently, the twins made their American debut in New York City and are now attending Northen University of Iowa on a partial scholarship to study music.

Read their truly uplifting story in a local Iowan newspaper here:

{The mission of Reciclarte Institute is to develop the artistic potential, cultural identity and self-esteem of children and young people in situations of personal and social risk. The organization offers classes in music, voice, violin, viola and violincelo for around 150 people. The support of the Global Giving and Pandora communities will permit the expansion of the number of young people reached, the acquisition of new instruments and improvements in the infrastructure of classrooms. Niterói - Rio de Janeiro }

Sincerely, Lenora



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Organization Information

Dreams Can Be Foundation

Location: Johnstown, PA - USA
Website: http:/​/​​
Project Leader:
Christine Clauser
Director of Development - Dreams Can Be Foundation
Rio de Janeiro, RJ Brazil

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