The Amigos da Vida Association
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As required by the current Brazilian legislation, the Italian NPO Il Sorriso dei miei Bimbi has worked in partnership with the Brazilian association Amigos da Vida since the very beginning of its activity in Rocinha. Barbara Olivi (founder and president of Il Sorriso) is also the vice-president and director, together with the valuable contribution of Veronica Cana Brazil.
Based in one of South America’s largest favelas (Rocinha, Rio de Janeiro), Amigos da Vida is Sorriso’s co-operating arm. It is a non-partisan, non-religious, independent association that promotes important partnerships with civil society. Through the years, it managed to activate several social projects with the help of individual donors as well as Italian, Brasilian and foreign institutions.
The association’s main goal is to activate educational and training projects within the community of Rocinha, to create better socio-education conditions for its residents.
• Creating and managing social and education projects for the development of individuals;
• Promoting recreational, educational and cultural activities through projects, events and group courses aimed at improving the quality of life of the children involved;
• Encouraging and engaging community representatives to share the philosophy of our project, with an emphasis on continuity and social participation;
• Developing channels to share experiences and make sure that even small changes can have a ripple effect into the community;
• Encouraging the voluntary participation of the community.
In such a complex environment and in 18 years of activity on the field, Il Sorriso’s ‘twin’ organization has developed a creative and stimulating educational pathway that includes the kindergarten Saci Sabe Tudo, which takes some 90 children between 2 and 6 years old, and Casa Jovem, a space for literacy and school support programs for all ages.
Thanks to constant engagement with the community and to efforts to build continuity in our projects, we have also launched Rocinha’s first literary café – the Garagem das Letras – a library, game room and space for social inclusion and culture.
Finally, during the Rio Olympics and with the initial support of the Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI) we launched the Green House – Volunteers House at the heart of the favela.
The building is innovative, sustainable and unique in Rocinha, and is dedicated to hosting volunteers and building an urban vegetable garden for environmental and food education.
Associação Amigos da Vida
Banco Bradesco 237 Agencia 0900.8 (via Apia)
CC: 4529-2 Código SWIFT: BBDEBRSPRJO