ACER

PROJECT NAME: ACER

 

WHERE: Diadema, a municipality in Sao Paulo state.

 

WHY:  Diadema is one of the most densely populated cities in Brazil, where 41% of the population is younger than 18. The region is characterized by high poverty levels, social vulnerability and violence and there are few effective public services or community organizations. The city faces serious drug-trafficking problems and gang violence. For young people, there is a lack of access to good education and prospects for the future are low. Children have a general lack of belief that they can achieve something positive with their lives, so aren't dedicated in school, and drop-out rates are high often leading to crime.

 

WHATACER is one of the few organizations working to protect children and guarantee their rights, through innovative projects, reaching out to Diadema and neighbouring communities.

 

ABC Trust is financing two main programmes:

 

Football and Citizenship ACER’s Football and Citizenship project uses sports, particularly football, to help children change their stories – from stories determined by their background and society about who they are and what they can achieve to stories of overcoming challenges and realising their potential. The project aims to increase their expectations of achieving something positive with their lives, to engage them in school, and to reduce drop-out rates, with the objective of reducing drug use, crime and prostitution. Children and young people become active agents of change in their communities, with the support of positive mentors. 

Family Guardian provides Children who have been removed from their parents, or whose parent(s) have died, instead of being sent to shelters are placed under the guardianship of an extended family (Guardians) and the family is supported as a whole by professional social workers and psychologists.  

 

WHO:  Boys who are at risk of becoming involved in crime and girls who have no   access to sports or leisure.  Children removed from parents and at risk of going into shelters.

 

RESULTS: 

Football and Citizenship

In just over 3 years, the project revitalised three sporting facilities in the community and offered regular sporting and recreational activities to over 900 girls and boys, with extremely low drop-out rates. By using a powerful and unique methodology in Brazil, it succeeded in re-engaging children in school and young people in training and work.

A highlight in 2014 was the recognition of the project as a reference for sport for change in Brazil, with the visit of the Prince Harry during the World Cup.

In 2015, ACER has started training PE teachers of the Young Offenders System of the state of Sao Paulo, indirectly reaching 10,000 young people in conflict with the law.

 

Family Guardian

The Social Worker visited the homes and supported all the members of the family in accessing their rights, including, for example, finding a crèche or a school for other children in the family.

Most of the families had the right to take part in cash transfers programmes but were not included in any of them. All of the families are now included in the government income support, health and education services, in addition to receiving the project’s support. Providing these families with basic income and including them in vital social services has made an incredible difference to their lives and it is an important step to including them in society.

This project has also been recognised by Sao Paulo’s Secretary of Social Development, receiving the Social Innovation Award in November 2014

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