In December two friends returned. Berit, from New Jersey returned with five more suitcases of donations for the children here. I took her two organizations that set up meetings with residents for the distribution of donations. When Berit comes she brings clothes, toys and school supplies. So, I try to organize meetings with projects that ned these things. Berit also has a few friends here that she visits on her own to distribute her gifts. We distributed donations to two places, Escola Moranguinhos which is a daycare/school for children from 3-6 years old. The second place I took her was the Two Brothers Foundation organization. We always look forwards to Berit coming to visit. She keeps in touch with me and lets me know when she plans to visit. We look forwards to her next visit.
Fanshawe Students visit
In February Adriana McDonald and her students from Fanshawe College in London, Ontario Canada came for a visit to our favela with 15 students to take a tour but also play a game of football with the youth that live here. The students study Landscape design and Integrated Land Planning. So I think visiting a favela was interesting for the. I organized the game with Andre Santos who is the director of the football programs at the quadra at first street at the top of the favela.
When asked why they wanted to visit a favela? Here was the response:
"There were a few things that prompted us to visit Rocinha. One of our goals was to offset the carbon emission we created by traveling. One way we were able to that was by getting involved and giving back to the community. In Rio, the visit to Rocinha allowed us to support you and your DJ school and also we were able to bring the soccer jerseys, once again, giving back to your community.
In a more professional level, students were interested on how an "unplanned" neighbourhood is developed. Very different approach from what they learn in school. They absolutely loved the visit."
They did bring 4 sets of football jerseys so during this visit I gave Andre one set for his players. The other sets will be distributed to other programs in the favela. Thank you Adriana for contributing to our favela! Below are photos from the event.