The activities we provide give opportunities that the attendees wouldn’t otherwise get, including sports and education programmes.
Our programmes are popular, and make a world of difference to those who attend, as they offer not only educational opportunities but also recreational activities away from the streets, which encourages them away from riskier behaviours related to gang culture.
The programmes offered can change over time to accompany the needs of the community they serve, as well as the funding available and the skills possessed by the team members.
Known as ‘English with a Purpose’, these lessons help students to access university. Typically only private schools offer a good level of English grammar in Brazil, so we aim to level the playing field for our students.
Homework club is vital to our young peoples’ education. State schools only run classes for half the day, and classrooms are crowded, meaning that many students fail end-of-year exams, and have to repeat years of schooling. Extra-curricular tuition through homework club makes a huge difference to their success in school.
Not all of our students are children. Many of the IT students are older, we have quite a few women who are trying to increase their skillset so they can move out of low paid labour such as cleaning. Others just want to be able to email a loved one, or use a phone.
From time to time we are able to offer other courses for the community. Whether through government grants or helpful volunteers we always welcome these opportunities. This could be anything from teaching culinary skills to sewing.
Our Futsal team, “Clube Esportivo Neder”, is very popular. Football is a massive cultural part of Brazil, and boys and girls alike will spend hours playing the streets. By organising a club, we bring them into a safe environment, teach them skills and team building, and enable them to get noticed and attend tryouts for the big clubs in the city.
Known as ‘circus skills’, this club is taught by volunteers. Eliene who grew up attending GSP activities herself, assists Euly in teaching. The club is great for teaching coordination and balance, as well as general fitness.
Our Jiu-jitsu program is very popular, and teaches discipline and structure as well as the Brazilian martial art.
The teacher, Marcus, is a military policeman who volunteers with us on his days off. This is very significant, as the community are mistrustful of the police in general, so having positive contact in this way makes a big difference.
The teacher is very strict on being on time and respecting the teacher and each other, and we often receive reports of the children improving at school once they begin Jiu-jitsu classes.
They also have the opportunity to attend competitions through Jiu-jitsu, and many have achieved medals and other successes.
There are many benefits to Jiu-jitsu, many of which make a massive difference to those taking part in our programme.
Developing logical thinking
Strengthening mental stability
Building character and morality
Encouraging respect for others and authority
Encouraging a sense of discipline
Darlan is now a world champion in Jiu Jitsu. He has taken part since the age of 12. He was brought up by a single mother who sacrificed a lot to get him support, and keep him off the streets and away from drugs.
Miguel was known for always getting into trouble, fighting at school, and causing problems at home. Recently the headteacher at his school asked his mother what had happened to him, as he no longer gets into trouble or fights at school since starting jiu jitsu classes. This is a common theme among the stories of our students, and shows just how much difference the program makes.
Klayton, 14, got the bronze medal at the world championships. His mother works incredibly hard selling sweets outside the school to survive.