For one month from February 2016, we – a group of young people from Escola da Esperança and our teachers – want to engage in a learning exchange with 2 inspiring projects situated in the Favelas of São Paulo: The Projeto Âncora and the Favela da Paz - Slum of Peace.
“Our schools must be changed into learning biotopes in which young people can nourish their curiosity with inspiration and engagement and take responsibility for creating their worlds. Learning has to be released from hierarchical superiority into a creative exchange amongst learners. The creators of the 21st Century need knowledge which cannot be simply 'learned by rote' but must be gained through the learner's own drive and experience.”
Prof. Dr. Gerald Hüther, Neuroscientist
On the 12th February we want to fly to São Paulo, Brazil, to visit two projects which are situated in the favelas: the Projeto Âncora and the Favela da Paz.
We will spend the first 2 weeks in Projeto Âncora. Our students have made contact with 19 of the Projeto Âncora's students and together they have designed an exchange program. Our students will be adopted by families in the surrounding favelas and accompany the students of Âncora in school and in their daily lives. They will get to know their interests, concerns and personal stories and will experience a very different way of learning. We will also learn about the history and political context of Brazil and its connection with Portugal.
Projeto Âncora is a world-renowned school that creates a radically new model of learning. It offers education to children who would otherwise spend their lives on the streets, exposed to violence and drug-trafficking. The children create projects according to their own needs and to those of their community. Accompanied by a tutor they develop learning plans for everything necessary to the fulfilment of the aims of their projects.
The concept was developed in collaboration with José Pacheco who was active in reforming schools after the revolution in Portugal in 1974. Today José Pacheco is an advisor for many educational projects in Brazil and Portugal. We are working with him to grow the network of innovative schools in Portugal and our teachers have a particular interest in Projeto Âncora's student-led and project-based approach to learning.
“Every student is a unique being in a community of other unique beings. If a child is treated in this way and respected it learns very quickly. When a student doesn't want to learn, either he is sick or the school is sick.” José Pacheco
You can find more information about Projeto Âncora on their website.
Experiencing the power of Nature
In between visiting these 2 projects we will retreat from the favelas for 5 days into the abundance of Brazil's nature. We will spend time as a group, reflecting on the first half of our journey, writing reports and enjoying being together.
Instituto Favela da Paz
Our 3rd stop will be the Instituto Favela da Paz. Tamera has worked with the Favela da Paz, for many years, within the context of the Global Campus and our young people now want to experience the work of this amazing project for themselves. We will live with Claudio Miranda, the founder of the project, and his family for 10 days. Claudio's daughter has gathered a group of 10 young people from the favela who wish to host our group, to share stories about our different lives and to introduce us to projects within the area.
The Instituto Favela da Paz is situated in Jardim Ângela, São Paulo, which was declared by the UN in the 1990's to be one of the world's most brutal neighbourhoods. More than twenty years ago Claudio began to gather friends to make music with tin cans. Today they have a successful band, Poesia Samba Soul, and a cultural project which offers hundreds of young people the opportunity to learn musical instruments and through this to escape the traps of drugs and violence.
In recent years the scope of the project has widened, giving birth to the vision of the Instituto Favela da Paz. Through urban permaculture and renewable energy solutions, through building community and studying peace knowledge, the Instituto becomes an education centre and a role-model for its surrounding.
The Escola da Esperança – School of Hope (under development) is situated in the Peace Research Village Tamera. This school creates “open learning spaces” where children can follow their own pace and their intrinsic motivation.
In addition to the national curriculum it shall provide children with knowledge about sustainable solutions to current global problems in the areas of ecology, technology and social development. One core focus of learning relates to how to create community, to mutual support and to finding creative and peaceful paths through conflicts. At the Escola da Esperança we want to protect the authentic curiosity, creativity and compassion inherent in every child and offer them skills to be active members of the world community.
You can find more about the Escola da Esperança on our Website.
Political journeys are an essential part of the Escola da Esperança concept. In our Travelling School our younger children explore the immediate surrounding and other countries in Europe. The teenage students venture further into the world; for them the political journeys are part of their initiation into adulthood. The idea is to travel to countries where they can gain insights into the current environmental, socio-political and economic crises and to visit local projects which create hope in their surroundings by providing intelligent answers and practical help. Our students will explore, together with their local counterparts, what it means to help in meaningful and sustainable ways. The young people do these journeys as a group with the close accompaniment of teachers so that there is no real danger and they have opportunities to share their inner movements and experiences. This inspires a deep sense of trust, companionship and further projects.
History of Political Journeys in our Project
In1995 we created a Youth School in the community of Tamera which accompanied several generations of young people on political journeys into various countries.
- India, 1998
- Croatia, 2000
- Grace Pilgrimage in Israel/Palestine, 2007
- Grace Pilgrimage in in Portugal, 2008
- Grace Pilgrimage in Colombia, 2010
A theatre piece was created by the young actors on the basis of their experiences in Israel/Palestine. For many years this play was at the core of our internal and international community-building. The piece was performed in Germany, Switzerland, Portugal and finally in Colombia together with a group of young actors from a Peace Village in Colombia.
See video – Hope for Colombia (Youth part)!
Now we think it is time for the next generation to have an experience like this. By supporting this campaign you can help to make it happen!
This is the first time that the students of Projeto Âncora have created a youth exchange program. It will be a very new experience for them to host young Europeans in their homes and in school and many questions have already come up. The concerns of host families range from: “Where can they sleep, I only have one mattress at home?” To, “Will they like us?” “What will they think about me?” And so on. The two groups, including their parents, are in continuous contact by post, mail and Skype to address these questions.
For our young people the main challenges which we anticipate relate to the experience of going to a slum; how will we cope with seeing the reality of other people who live in danger and poverty? What should we do when we see violence in the streets? The idea of going 'alone' into host families in such a new context is also a bit scary for our young people.
We will all be challenged for much of the time during this journey. We will face very intense social and political situations and will often be living together in very small spaces, with little opportunity to withdraw from the group. We will need to work well together; everybody will need to speak up when he or she has an issue and everybody will need to work together to solve the issues that arise.
We are at a very special point in the building of Escola da Esperança, (click here for details). The current situation requires half of the group of travelling students to take national examinations at the end of this school year. These students know that if they want to join this journey and be confident in passing their examinations, they must learn with full power and enthusiasm for the rest of the year.
The Youth Group
These descriptions have been written by the young people; some wrote about each other, some wrote about themselves.
Here’s where we need you! We are raising €36,000 to take 9 students and 5 teachers to Brazil for one month. It costs an average of €2570 for each participant. This figure covers our flights, travelling expenses, food & lodging; our preparation, coordination and administration.
- Flights & Transportation: €13,750
- Food & Lodging: €13,888
- Coordination & Administration: € 2,650 (learning material, fundraising costs and insurance)
- Crowdfunding film: €1,250 (travel and stay in Tamera for a moviemaker who supported us for free)
- Accompaniment for the young people in their preparation of the project: €4,500 (food & accommodation for 3 volunteer tutors for 3 months)
If you would like a more detailed breakdown of the budget please write to
Through the Grace Foundation we are able to offer tax deductible receipts to donors from the United States or Switzerland. If you would like a receipt please contact us at the following addresses:
For Swiss donors: please contact johannes.ewig[at]the-grace-foundation[dot]org
For US donors: please contact johannes.ewig[at]the-grace-foundation[dot]org prior to donating to our campaign
THE GRACE FOUNDATION - OUR PARTNER FOR THIS PROJECT
This Crowdfunding campaign is a cooperation between the Escola da Esperança and the Grace Foundation. We chose to partner with them as their vision and mission beautifully match the work of creating new forms of education valid for the future.
“We are here to learn. Everyone is born with a unique potential and education should serve to bring it forth for the good of all. We see education as the most powerful lever for change; it can awaken the dream of humanity in each individual. But mainstream schooling too often smothers children’s innate enthusiasm for learning, reducing young people to units of production for a capitalist system; stealing from them their creativity and alienating them from their true natures. ” - The Grace Foundation website, excerpt from “What we fund”
www.the-grace-foundation.org / info[at]the-grace-foundation[dot]org
You are now carrying our dream. This is perhaps the best gift you can give – bearing witness to our experiences and work and sharing your enthusiasm. Please share on Facebook, twitter or other social media platforms and email to your friends and family.
We are happy to be able to offer you documents about former journeys and their outcomes, children's handy crafts, some creative moments with our group and much more - as a 'thank you' for carrying us in your heart and supporting our path of initiation into adulthood.
Check out our offerings, made by the children and young people at the Escola da Esperança and other members of the Tamera community. We are very grateful to have the support of a whole community!
These are our key concepts in a very short version. You can find the full description here!
1.Children are cosmic beings.
Within every child and every young person there is a seed of compassion and humanity. Nurturing this is the most important goal of the Escola da Esperança, the School of Hope.
2."The thinking of the future must make wars impossible." (Albert Einstein)
The foundation for a future peace culture will be prepared in schools. An understanding and knowledge of the diversity of human cultures is needed for multicultural communication and cooperation.
3. "Helping helps" - curricula should offer that which is needed for a future worth living. The Escola da Esperança aims to impart profound social, ecological and technical knowledge.
4. Attraction instead of pressure – learning is a natural process, a part of life that happens by itself. Given conditions of trust and mutual respect learning follows the natural energy flows of life.
5. “I am,” “I want to,” “I can” - Each individual has his or her own inner course of development. Children come into this world with different talents. The development of their individual potential requires educational surroundings in which these are recognised and supported.
6. The world is a holistic organism.
All of the senses are involved in the combination of active research and cognitive understanding and through this learning is anchored in the cells and the ability to act is developed.
7. "In order to give birth to a dancing star one must carry chaos inside oneself." (Friedrich Nietzsche.) In 'creative fields' of interactive and mixed-age group learning spaces, life's creative potential can unfold and is available to humanity for the shaping of our future.
8. Freedom and orientation require each other.
Efficient and free learning takes place in the balance between orientation and freedom.
9. From "I" to "We" - the experience of trust and solidarity in community.
Children need to be embedded within a stable community to grow up healthily.
10. To shape the future, one must be prepared for "lifelong learning".
Accompanying children requires a willingness to change oneself. Schools can develop if the people in and around them are actively engaged in their own development and self-reflection.