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Home: Freunde Waldorf

Brazil: After school center of the Projeto Salva Dor

For many years in Salvador de Bahia, little children are taken off the streets to receive loving care and three meals a day at the institution Salva Dor. Their own families are often not able to provide this kind of care. Together with the rhythm that is established at kindergarten and the worthwhile activities they observe there and then imitate, the children thus receive an internal and an external stability, which hopefully provides them with more strength in their adolescence.

Salvador is one of the poorest cities in Brazil. Over 60% of the cities population lives in precarious conditions in very limited space. In the midst of this poverty the Projeto Salva Dor takes care of about 50 children aged two to ten, with a supplementary Waldorf-educational program, partly full-time, partly as after school care. The project offers a space for playing and safe learning and growing. Children between five and ten attend the after school care on a daily basis, to master the difficulties of their often chaotic everyday school life, to enjoy excursions, and to grow together.

In Brazil, unfortunately, compulsory schooling already starts at five years of age. Much too early for many children. In overcrowded classes they are taught with authoritarian methods; oftentimes all classes are cancelled, some subjects for months, which hampers the children's development. Lívia, a teacher, who studied education and completed a Waldorf Kindergarten teacher training, looks after a group in the mornings before they attend school in the surrounding areas in the afternoon. After that, she looks after a group that attends school in the mornings.

All children attending the project get breakfast, a warm lunch and a snack in the afternoon. For many children these are the only regular mealtimes. To establish a healthy rhythm, a daily routine is essential. Regular workshops, for example Capoeira, a martial art dance, dietary education, experimenting in the kitchen, as well as painting, drawing, and handicrafts provide the framework for a better everyday life.

A life where children can act and live according to their abilities, and where violence and drugs are pushed away as far as possible. Not only the nursery teachers' salaries, but also every sheet of paper, every pencil, and every meal are funded by donations, because the parents cannot contribute fjnancially. To make contribution of their own, the employees make dolls and other handicraft work, which they sell at a bazaar.


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