CRIATIVOS DO BAIRRO
When asked to recall a special moment in the partnership sealed between Avenues São Paulo and CCA Santa Rosa, head-of-office at the afterschool program from neighboring Jardim Panorama, Keli Cristina Fabricio, is quick to reply: the last time Avenues students’ visited Santa Rosa’s kids, before Covid 19 quarantine began. “When we experience each other’s realities”, in her own words, “when they’re all just kids, despite their social classes. When we shatter this myth that our worlds should be kept apart. Because they don’t have to. They aren’t.”
The institution run by Mrs. Fabricio takes in 60 kids between the ages of 6 and 15 in each shift, morning and afternoon, and offers a range of activities, from sports to the arts. Monthly, she hosts meetings in which all kids are welcome to speak their minds and state how they feel about the services being provided at Santa Rosa. Cafeteria, cleaning, supplies, you name it; it’s been brought up at the council. And the computer room was mentioned, repeatedly. “Whenever we come upon a sponsorship we usually know where to address those funds, because we’re always listening to their complaints. Our proposals are based on their demands”, Mrs. Fabricio explains. And so, it was. Avenues’ students worked alongside the institution preparing their big presentation to be made (and approved) before the committee. Bridging their worlds.
And talk about a timely decision. Albeit surrounded by mansions, Jardim Panorama is an extremely socially vulnerable community with very scattered access to online computers. In February, when the 11-decade old computers in the room began being replaced and a printer was acquired, no one knew what was coming next – and how widespread it would be. “These families now need to go online to look for jobs, print out resumes, apply for unemployment and emergency aid, or to get better training for new work. We didn’t know beforehand how important these upgrades would be in the present day. We’re now a bedrock to these families. And Avenues is a partner”, says Mrs. Fabricio.