Being allowed to play – the social project Pequeno Principe, São Paolo
Brazil: The social project Pequeno Principe is located on the southern outskirts of São Paulo, near the Atlantic Forest. “Pequeno Principe” means “little prince”. A little prince wants to be treated with respect, wants to receive a good education and especially the opportunity to play.
However, when one gets to know the suburb Parelheiros, one quickly realizes that reality looks quite different. Apart from poverty, daily life in many families is largely shaped by violence. Instead of playing and education children often turn on their television as a substitute. In order to break the vicious circle of this reality, Amparo del Moral, Alexandra Pratley and Gutrun Burkhard founded the Pequeno Principe initiative in 1995. Through social and ecological work on the basis of anthroposophy the project has been able to build up a healthy environment for children. Today, 16 employees ensure that each of the 160 children may feel a bit like a little prince.
On the four-acre property there are now four buildings that host the childcare, a small library, an office, a communal kitchen, a music building and a house for the caretaker.
In addition, there is a small vegetable garden and on site there are enough forests and meadows that provide the opportunity to play in nature. In addition to the everyday activities such as therapeutic speech formation and artistic lessons, the children also engage in music lessons, singing, dancing, capoeira, circus and gardening.
As a result the young people can take all that they have learned in the world of the little prince, into their own world. Thereby they are encouraged to live a dignified independent life and improve their living conditions, step by step.
Unfortunately the Pequeno Principe project largely depends on donations and hopes for further supporters. Only then it will be possible to ensure that the children and young people from financially disadvantaged families continue to benefit from this wonderful educational environment.