“I need only one thing right now:
a hug. A gesture as old as humanity.”
— Paulo Coelho, Brazilian writer
La Pedreira is a district of 400,000 inhabitants on the outskirts of São Paulo, a third of whom live in precarious and often abusive settlements, in a context of human and environmental degradation, where poverty, violence, drugs and alcohol are rampant and the crime rate is among the highest in the city. Most of the families in the favela are deprived of the father figure who has simply abandoned his partner and children, is in prison, has disappeared or has been murdered.
Pedreira also has serious problems with urban infrastructure, with a lack of public services such as schools, transport, hospitals, etc., and a lack of public services.
As always, the children who pay the price are those who grow up in an unhealthy environment, without points of reference, and where the law of the strongest prevails.
A space for our dreams
It is in this context that La Casa dos Curumins was born, which welcomes the dreams and hopes of 160 children and adolescents of the favela.
During the week, children and teenagers from 5 to 15 years old are welcomed in two shifts (morning and afternoon).
The project aims to create a solid alternative to hunger, violence and human degradation that surrounds the children, to whom Casa dos Curumins offers a balanced diet, teaches hygiene and learning activities that will be useful for life as adults. After-school activities include Portuguese courses, civic classes, computer science, creative art, music, dance and sports activities.
ABBA collaborates with Casa dos Curumins supporting some initiatives
An expressive language for growing up
Music, singing and art in their different forms stand for a creative language through which we can express all those sensations that we cannot describe with words. When we perform music and art we express and communicate with a universal language, which is non-verbal, but that relates each person of different language, age, or social condition. Furthermore, we get to know better ourselves and our potential as well. We also put into action our own transformation and inner growing.
In the programs of Casa dos Curumins, these activities have taken a predominance in the educational curriculum and training for girls and boys who attend it. In recent years, projects with art and music have developed exponentially involving not only children and teenagers but also young people and the elderly in the community. The extraordinary results speak for themselves. The extraordinary results speak for themselves.
In 2016, the popular Swiss pop-singer Sebaltar was present at the inauguration of the new school of music named Quarteirão da Musica. It is aimed at aspiring young musicians between the ages of 8 and 20 who live in the Pedreira community.
A recording studio has also been set up at Casa dos Curumins, which in future will also be a centre open to the outside world.
For 2019 ABBA is financing a specialist course in sound technology for the employees of Studio Audio Quarteirão da Música
English for all
In 2019, a structured programme for learning English was organised, which is also an important element in the Brazilian context. The English course is offered to the children and staff of Casa dos Curumins.
ABBA bears the costs of the English courses for 2019