Since 2006, a group of NGOs coordinated by CEMINA has been mobilizing resources to provide children (7-12) after school activities preventing them to wonder around and be exposed to the influence of gangs, drugs or other dangerous events that a big violent urban center like Rio de Janeiro offers.
The children are gathered in a house named Centro Comunitario Julio Otoni, in two groups, morning and afternoon. They have classes of artcrafts, English, capoeira, informatics and support for school homework.
Twice a year they have holliday camp and have activities for 15 days.
Four years later the coordinating team has been working on evaluating the impact of the program and also in identifying what is the response that the community is willing to offer in exchange for the service provided. Up to the moment the support to the project has been 100% subsidized by donnations. In March of the current year we have initiated a training process with mothers and women from the community to enable them generating their own income, using the premises of the house, idenfitifying new products for sale and managing this process. We have also organized individual meetings with families to explore with them which kind of contribution they will be able to make. The contribution can be in kind or in cash. Our vision is that by the end of the year, starting 2011, a minimun of the current expenses to maintain the project will be generated by the community.
Another level of evaluation is carried directly with the children directly involved in the project. We have been interviewing some of them to register their perception on how the project has impact their lives, especially the ones that are there since 2006, or the ones that started in 2006 and now have left. We want to register: What each of them is currently doing?
How the activities and what they have learned at Julio Otoni has impacted the choices they have done? How they feel out of the community? Do they feel marginalized? How confident do they feel?
These interviews will be posted at the project's blog soon.
Project activities are posted weekly at the project's blog: www.juliootoni.wordpress.com. Today the Julio Otoni project is a reference in Rio de Janeiro. There is a major interest in activities and best practices or labs that have been taking place in the favelas. Curbing urban violence continues to be a major challenge in Rio de Janeiro and every experience that contributes to a solution is reviewed and evaluated very carefully. Certainly Julio Otoni has been one and Global Giving and its donors have been contributing for that.
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