On the day we visited the community of Pedirea we went with one of the monitors that make up the technical element of the program of PIM’s.
One of the things I really wanted to observe in Brazil was the way they utilised their limited resources in areas like these. The set up isn’t too far from what we have.
We went into the room adjoining the church. This room is taken up with clothes, a library, craft material storage and table in the middle of the room. Taking up the whole space of one side of the room is full of second hand clothes. Families can choose clothes for themselves and their children.
There is a notice of the price, but Marcia says this is symbolic, they have this there so the families don’t feel they are getting things for free. There is a sense of pride in the community here.
Marcia then points out the craft materials box, reused and recycled materials are brought in by families and they enjoy bringing all ages of the family in to create different things each week. She demonstrates how three small cosmetic boxes stacked not top of each other can be used to make those shifting interchanging body parts. The rest of the materials are stored in carefully covered boxes decorated with symbols – I feel like they’re celebrating there craft materials.
She also tells us that the government keep 10% of the visitors workers wages to help support them with buying educational materials. As they are students and not fully trained professionals they can do this.
At one point my translator Daisy – a friend from London who has children and just so happens to come from Porte Alegre realises the work the program is doing and suddenly sees the significance in it. It really was an emotional moment. She helped me to understand just how much benefit we get from services in the UK, it was an insightful part of the journey.