News about Projeto Anchieto, SP Brasil

A visit to the Korczak’s Friends
in São Paulo

During the International Korczak Youth Meeting, September 2007, Sylvia Guimarães from the project “Projeto Anchieto” in São Paulo (described here), invited Theo Cappon, President of the JK Society in The Nederlands, to visit the place and to organise a Korczak seminar for all workers and volunteers. Report.

4 years ago I visited the “Projeto Anchieto” for the last time and I was very curious and eager to see how things had been changed. Indeed, it was a big surprise to see the new houses for workshops, circles and games for children. The old, rather primitive ones were removed and the new ones looked very inviting.

I spent two days in the project, one day just observing all kinds of activities. Each morning 150 kids in the age of 3-12 years old, from the poor districts around (the favela) come to Projeto Anchieto to have a good breakfast (beans and rice) and to join different kinds of activities, offered by the group leaders and volunteers. In the afternoon, the same situation with another 150 kids.

The second day we organised a seminar for all adults in the project, even for colleagues from the neighbourhood-projects. But also for the cooks and the guards. Thema: “What can we learn from Janusz Korczak for our daily work with children?”. Thanks to Sylvia and Fabio (coordination, translation, hosting) we had a dynamic and fruitful meeting. People had many positive comments and went home with new inspiration.

I was touched by their approach of children. They offer not only a safe place, but (more over) trust, self respect, and love. The letters on the wall, a quotation of Korczak, is not just a slogan, but for this Projeto Anchieto a reality:

“Children become not human beings in the future, they are already to day”.

Theo Cappon, Dutch Janusz Korczak Association

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