The World Cup has understandably caused a great deal of excitement in the school and teacher Andrea has been working football themed exercises into her maths lessons as well as talking to the students about the different countries and their supporters that have been visiting Salvador over the last month. Andrea is also planning a fun football tournament in the school to mark the event and hoping to talk some of the parents into getting involved.
Since the school’s inception we have always been working hard to try and encourage parental involvement – support at home is so vital for our children’s educational success. The school is very fortunate to benefit from a small football pitch, which was created by clearing a section of jungle to the rear of the classroom buildings. This was only possible thanks to charitable donations and provides and invaluable safe place for the children to play. But of course the success of our fun tournament will also depend on the weather – June/July is the middle of the rainy season in Bahia and the tropical downpours can be absolutely torrential!
Despite all the festivities there are some very serious consequences of the World Cup coming to Brasil. Leaving aside arguments about the questionable nature of investments in stadia at a time when Brazil’s education, transportation and public health systems are in such dire need of funding, the arrival of the ‘Copa do Mundo’ has had immediate local effects in Salvador. With Rio de Janeiro as the flagship host city and also currently preparing for the Olympics in 2016, huge efforts have been made to reduce the threat of crime for visitors to the city. This has been achieved with police raids of the most notorious favelas in Rio, with police moving in and taking semi-permanent control of some areas of the city. This hasn’t forced the criminal gangs to change their ways however, in reality most have just moved to new areas and to other cities. Salvador, with it’s similar climate, coastal location, tourist money and already booming criminal underworld has proved an attractive relocation option. This phenomena is so new that we do not have any statistics as yet, but speaking to the locals many report crimes committed by new arrivals to the city and gang violence is visibly increasing as the new migrant criminals jostle for position with the established drug traffickers. It is a worrying situation and we will have to watch how it develops over the next few years.
Much like during the annual Carnaval celebrations, the World Cup is going to create another unavoidable distraction from education for our students. It’s a difficult reality, but the event provides local families with a much needed opportunity to earn some money. Small family enterprises will spring up all round the stadium and hotel district during this period, and although the government have tried to restrict the number of unauthorised street vendors working during the Cup, a very large number of the city’s children will still earn money next month selling drinks, snacks and souvenirs and finding parking spaces for drivers.
Thank you for continuing to support this project.
All the best
Everyone at Educandário Creche Comunitária Sonho da Vovó Clara