CAMPO - Centro Assessoria ao Movimento Popular
CAMPO (Centro Assessoria ao Movimento Popular/Assistance Center to the Popular Movement)
Campo's mission is to support grassroots organizations, strengthening community organization into a transformative force that contributes to the broadening of citizenship and an improved quality of life. To realize this objective, Campo focuses on the areas of Community Development, Childhood Education and Environmental Education.
CAMPO was founded on the first day of October in 1987 with the purpose of supporting low-income community groups in the greater Rio de Janeiro area, and in doing so encouraging a better quality of life and a more involved citizenry.
The Belgian ex-Jesuit priest and economist, Cristiano Camerman, first envisioned CAMPO as an institution while working with communities in Rio de Janeiro. As a priest, Cristiano lived in the urban slum of Rocinha (the largest ghetto in Latin America) for nearly 4 years. There, he helped revitalize ASPA-AÇÃO Social Padre Anchieta, a non-governmental organization that had reduced its activities, and also helped create the first nursery school in the community. “In the beginning, I was sent to that huge community to give masses, but I also wanted to listen to the people and see how we could transform the community together,” says Cristiano. After leaving the priesthood, Cristiano resolved to create CAMPO. “I wanted to continue the work I was doing in Rocinha, but in a more independent way.” So, he invited some friends, looked for financial resources and became the coordinator of the institution, a position that the still occupies today, participating in the management of the organization that is composed of four components.
For the last 17 years, CAMPO has established partnerships with more than 200 organizations, and today CAMPO assists approximately 40 groups. Among these, there are 11 nursery schools and brinquedotecas (institutions that create and circulate a collection of toys), 12 Community Centers for Professional Development, 2 Small Business Cooperatives, a Service Center, and the Tinguá Center of Ecology and Citizenship (Eco-Tinguá).