School construction enables impoverished, rural children to receive education and spiritual support.
Timeline: 1 year
Spiritual Engagement: 300
Community Engagement: 100
Anticipated Lives Impacted: 400
Total Amount Requested: $39,200
In their own words:
I felt very embarrassed generally because I was illiterate and had been humiliated on a regular basis for this reason. A little after I was converted, the Parish of the Consolador started a school project and challenged those in and outside the school to learn to read. I accepted the challenge immediately and was matriculated in the Basic Literacy Course for Adults. I learned to read and today I’m a new person, so much so that I’m able to realize a dream: to read the Bible. Since learning to read, I’ve become really passionate about the Bible.” —Ivanildo José da Silva, 45, married and the parent of three children.
Although Brazil has made great strides toward economic development, vulnerable families in rural areas continue to live in deep poverty. Without expansive services and opportunities, they have little hope for a better future. The poverty of Brazil’s rural areas affects about 51 percent of the population, or 18 million people. That means that Brazil has the largest number of poor rural dwellers in the Western Hemisphere.
Education plays a vital role in helping families and communities enjoy fuller, more productive lives. But in rural areas, literacy rates are low because the quality of the education is poor and opportunities to attend school are scarce. Beyond the classroom, children in at-risk areas need a place where they can learn life values and express themselves creatively as they develop in physical health.
The Anglican Diocese of Recife has embarked on a three-phase project to help ensure that children in Recife receive a good education and are prepared for life. The diocese has completed the first phase, which was the construction of a new school where Christian religious education can be taught, as well as other subjects. The second phase calls for the construction of a gym to support the children’s physical development. It will also provide space for afterschool activities. The gym will accommodate 100 children and allow the diocese to share the Gospel with them and expand the reach of its services to children and their families.
This project benefits 400 people, some through multiple impacts:
300 family members will demonstrate a willingness to engage with the Scriptures by becoming members of the parish church and attending services, as indicated by new membership and attendance reports
100 children ages 4 and 5, who are students of the new school, will have access to a gym where they engage in physical fitness activities, gain sports skills and enjoy a safe place away from the streets with after-school activities
The Anglican Diocese in Recife, in partnership with the Education Foundation, constructed a school building in the first phase at a cost of $70,000. In this second phase, the diocese will build a gym so the children have an appropriate physical education facility, as well as a safe haven from dangerous neighborhoods. Many of the children lack parental supervision after school. It is expected that sports will improve school retention rates and give the children a positive outlet for their energy. Students will learn important life skills such as teamwork, respect, responsibility and self-discipline.
Up to 300 of the students’ family members will become engaged with the church through this program by volunteering to construct the building, making monthly donations to the project and participating in prayer and fellowship where they hear God’s Word and accomplish their vision for the school together.
In a third phase, the diocese will construct a computer and technology lab, which will be used to minister to the rural poor, provide children with early education services and teach adults to read.
Measuring impact: The number of children attending school will be tracked by the diocese through enrollment and attendance records. The number of families becoming active members of a parish church will be tracked through church records. The diocese will track the number of children engaged in the different sports.
The Diocese of Recife has previously partnered with the Education Foundation, an organization experienced in working with children in the region. The diocese itself has long provided programs for children, youth, women and men throughout Northeast Brazil. Pro-grams included church services, discipleship groups, Bible classes, vacation Bible schools and Alpha disciple-ship courses. On a previous project (ARDF-1008), the diocese received a rating of “Achieved” for helping pregnant women and their families.
The diocese has established significant partnerships with Brazilian Support Service to the Small Business, National Service of Commerce Learning, and Social Service of Commerce. The diocese has previous experience in adult literacy by partnering with the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Education. High levels of participation in these programs have revealed a serious need for this kind of training.
Roof, walls and painting of gym: $27,000
Floor, sports quad: $8,000
Research and evaluation: $4,200
Note: Families have been invited to commit to 10 months of giving between 10 and 100 Brazilian reais. This will help ensure engagement and ownership of the project for the benefit of the community. Those who are not able to make a cash donation will be asked to donate their labor to help complete construction.
Low: 1, Low/Medium: 2, Medium: 3, Medium/High: 4, High: 5
Concept: Risk Level 1
Education is critical for the overall development of children and their families, but in rural Brazil the quality of the education can be poor and difficult to access. Children who do attend primary school are at risk of dropping out due to poor performance, inability to pay school fees and society’s lack of an emphasis on education. The Diocese of Recife seeks to reach the youngest students in order to prepare them physically and mentally to succeed in school.
Program Design and Experience: Risk Level 3
The Diocese of Recife is addressing a significant need for education within the local community and an important sector for economic development. By providing pre-primary school education to vulnerable children, the diocese gives students a greater chance at success, while also encouraging families to engage with the church. By providing a gym, the diocese is helping to ensure that children are able to learn life skills that will carry them beyond the classroom. The gym also gives children a place to direct their physical energy and avoid the dangers present on the streets.
Leadership: Risk Level 1
Project leadership is committed to the diocese and has extensive experience with educational initiatives. The project, however, relies heavily on a partnering organization, with participation from the local community and parish members.
Financial Control: Risk Level 3
The diocese lacks externally audited financial statements, although it has provided basic information regarding income and expenses. It was able to complete a $70,000 construction project at the same location with funds raised from local people and partners. This project has the full endorsement of diocesan leadership.
Sustainability: Risk Level 2
Funding for this project covers the construction of a gym, which in the future will only require basic maintenance. The diocese will cover maintenance and staff costs through church members’ tithes and offerings, along with students’ minimal monthly fees. Teachers will receive a small stipend, although the ability of teachers to work for little to no compensation and the ability of poor families to pay monthly fees will determine the project’s sustainability.
External: Risk Level 4
This region is subject to political and economic instability, as well as flooding. The Diocese of Recife, however, has a proven track record of successfully implementing projects in difficult conditions. Construction projects are generally prone to delays and additional unexpected costs, which pose a significant risk to project completion and sustainability. Diocesan properties in Brazil have undergone lawsuits with the Episcopal Church. However, the school has been cleared and is not one of the properties in dispute.Help raise awareness: