Monte Azul – A Role Model for Countless Social Initiatives
Brazil: “Associação Comunitária Monte Azul” is an association founded in 1979. The initiative cares for 18.000 people living in the three Favelas “Monte Azul”, “Peinha” and “Horizonte Azul”. With an infant-group, kindergartens pre-school- and school accompanying youth-groups as well as training workshops (electric workshop, paper recycling, waste recovery and furniture restoration) Monte Azul supports more than 1.000 youngsters. Additionally the institution provides artistic activities and medical care. The association employs 220 regular co-workers.
In Sao Paulo 1700 Favelas – shanty towns – are existent. Places which usually consist of improvised dwellings made from scrap materials like plywood, corrugated metal and sheets of plastic. Places which are often linked to enormous poverty, violence criminality and misery.
In 1974 Ute Creamer, a Waldorf teacher, observed the following: the adults living in the Favelas need help to regain their human dignity and children desperately need somebody showing them how to play. Subsequently she drew consequences and tried to animate young women living in the Favelas to embrace their children, to play with them and to look after them. Ute creamer herself wandered from shed to shed and listened to the people living there. Doing so, she discovered that the simple act of listening to someone, gives back dignity to a humiliated human being.
Slow but steady Ute Cramer was able to find loyal co-workers and during the course of time plenty of initiatives developed – in the slum a community was formed in which a lot of change is blossoming today despite the preposterous circumstances, drug-criminality, prostitution, alcoholism, violence and homicide. The Escola Básica Waldorf in Horizonte Azul startet 2010 with a first class and wishes to grow further.
Today the basic concept of Ute Creamer still remains the foundation of Monte Azul, but it has simply been expanded into various directions. Besides the intensive work with teenagers, the support of schooling, the training possibilities, Crèche’s, kindergartens, preschools and recreational centres, the initiative also hosts a medical centre which is free of charge for the very poor, as well as even a birth facility. With the help of Waldorf education, anthroposophical medicine and the search for new innovative ideas in building up communities, Monte Azul seeks to develop the necessary impulses for our time.