The capacity of this programme was expanded in 2003 and our Brasilia Girlstown (Escola vila das crianças) now provides secondary education to 881 young girls aged 11-18. The girls receive full-time care, three regular meals a day, full healthcare support and have access to onsite facilities which include vocational training workshops, sports facilities, a large gymnasium with a stage and a dental clinic that provides support to the girls at school and the local community.
From a chaotic early life, the girls at our schools in Brazil can begin to enjoy their childhood, regain their health, thrive at school and learn the skills they need to build a productive future for themselves and their families.
Accredited by the Ministry of Education, the technical specialisms include culinary arts, dressmaking, dental hygiene and nursing so the girls are work-ready with relevant skills. There are many vacancies for nurses and dentists in Brazil and the girls have great success in achieving work in these sectors.
Through 2021 it was business as usual for all the school’s classes, many of which moved online. Exams took place on time and 81 girls finished school and graduated into work in December 2021, with 183 new very deprived girls starting school in January 2022.
As with all our other schools, the girls are energetic, keen to learn and are supported to enjoy a full programme of leisure activities. Despite lockdown, 2021 was no different and there was plenty of time for favourite hobbies and sports.
The Sisters and children utilise their skills wherever they can. This was never more evident than during the pandemic where our children supported local hospitals with the production of PPE made in their sewing classes. The Brazil girls were no exception in helping their communities during this difficult time and were keen to use their administration and nursing skills to help out with the delivery of the vaccination campaign in their local community in September.
The school in Brasilia also offers a Day-Care Centre so young children aged 3-5 years old can be cared for, allowing their mothers to work. The Centre is a valuable resource for local families in the community and welcomes children from 8:00 am until 5:00 pm. It is similar to the programme running in São Paulo. The children receive regular meals, the chance for play and early learning. 73 young children currently attend the Day Care Centre although the waiting list for this facility is much longer.