Rocinha, with its population of almost 300,000 people is always in need of new projects. With the coming Olympic Games and Rio being a city that heavily relies of tourism, learning a English is an advantage. Currently we have about 5 English projects or schools in Rocinha. But the favela could always use more educational opportunities for the residents.
I often get asked if I can teach people English. The problem is, I can speak the language but have no idea where to start if I was to teach somebody. I know of many volunteers who come here to help many of the different NGO's that include English classes in their programs, so I pass on the information about these various projects to the locals.
This new school opening up in Laboriaux is needed because Laboriaux is at the farthest top of the favela you can go and there are few if any social projects or NGO's there. So this is a great need to approximately 3,000 residents that live in Laboriaux.
Favela Pheonix is a project started by Jody King, a English guy living in Rocinha. He had told me that his idea came to be about 9 months ago when he was living in England. A few of his friends gave him the idea to start a charity in Rocinha. So, thats what Jody has done. He has a few sponsors that are helping fund the operations of his school. He was able to get access to a building thanks to a resident Gunther, who supports his idea. Another resident Marcos was able to help with the donation of 19 students desks. A white board now also hangs on the wall of the classroom.
Favela Adventures has received many donations from visitors to Rocinha. I wanted to help Jody because I believe in his project and I want to see it grow.
I went through donations we had from the past few months and passed on many school supplies so Jody can start his classes. Dictionaries, flash cards, work books, notebooks, pens, pencils, sharpeners and paper, enough to last a while. Favela Adventures will continue to support his project.
This past week Jody, Gustavo and Fabricio were able to pickup the student desks for Jody's house and bring them to the main street. Once there Rogerio, a friend of Jody's who is a professional mover, was able to bring his truck around to transport the desks to the schools location at the top of the hill. Here are some fotos of the moving.
Favela Pheonix English School will be opening Monday September to start the first class. Below are fotos of the classroom.
Jody has already enrolled about 26 students for the classes. There will be two teachers who will teach morning and evening classes. Students will be aged 14 years to adult for now. As the project grows, children's classes will be added.
Favela Pheonix is off to a good start!
Dorian and Anne Marie Moran will be the teachers starting off the program. Both teachers have experience and look forwards to new students to share their expertise. Anne Marie has said "I am proud to be joining as one of the teachers on his team! Jody's school is a great example of how a positive impact can be made on a community in the right way."
Classes have begun and are off to a great start!