Officially founded in 1979, the Monte Azul Community Association is a developing organisation that has a history of almost three decades. Its philosophy is centered on the vision that man does not live only on bread and water alone but requires education, art, culture and stimulation thus reinforcing the inner core of the human being.
The impact of the Association’s work can be seen in many ways: better quality of life, lower crime rate, reduced drug dependency and greater success in school. The work of the Association is seen by its contemporaries with respect and they are regularly invited to contribute to public policy.
Running water, sewage systems, kindergartens, adult education, health clinic, refuse recycling, the reduction of violence and much more, are the results of what is now turned into an example for many Brazilian initiatives. The Monte Azul Community Association is looking for more extensive answers to the urgent problems of urban slums, and is willing to face new challenges to make life, even for the poorest of people, more dignified.
The Association sees itself as an educational medium in which the favela people, employees, and volunteers work together to learn from each other and exchange ideas and experiences. What started with the initiative of one person has grown to an organisation employing around 220 people. Of these people around 130 or 60% are people who live or lived in the favelas. In addition there are around 60 Brazilian and 20 international volunteers working for the association at any given time.
The education and upbringing of favela children lies at the heart of the work of the Monte Azul Community Association. The Association provides education and schooling to around 1200 children, adolescents and adults in their nurseries, kindergartens, preschools, youth groups, professional training workshops and many other activities.
The Association provides free health care in all three centres. Their clinics, or Ambulatórios, see around 4000 people every month. People also come from the surrounding districts to receive treatment from the doctors, dentists, nurses, psychologists, midwives and therapists. Anthroposophical medicine provides the basis to which the health services are provided.
Firmly established as an integral part of work of the Association are cultural activities. Children adolescents and adults take part in events, courses, and workshops, which include theatre, music, dance, yoga, foreign languages, copoeira (a martial art inherited from slavery), cultural presentations and more. There is a strong focus on both indigenous Brazilian culture as well as those from all over the world.
Located just outside the Favela Monte Azul is the Cultural Centre, which hosts these events in addition to annual dance, music, theatre and film festivals. The Cultural Centre has long been recognized as an institution fundamental to the cultural life of São Paulo, international artists across a broad range of genres regularly visit and perform at the centre where the subsidized tickets prices are kept to a minimum to keep these shows accessibility to all.
Monte Azul offers social education workshops that focus on the likes of urbanisation, work legislation and consumer rights. Urbanisation focuses on environmental and cleaning programmes improving walkways, bridges, water purity and sewerage systems in conjunction with the Sao Paulo city council.
Officially founded in 1979, the Monte Azul Community Association is a developing organisation that has a history of almost three decades. Its philosophy is centered on the vision that man does not live only on bread and water alone but…