Educandário e Instituto André Luiz

André Luiz Educational Institute is an educational initiative that aims to provide access to quality education, academic and professional opportunities to outstanding, low-income students from Sorocaba, Brazil. The institute was initially founded in 2014 as the social project Motivando o Futuro (Motivating the Future) by Pedro Henrique Cardoso Navarro, who studied in public schools for most of his life and, through many academic opportunities, was able to overcome the boundaries of his socioeconomic status and started his undergraduate studies at the University of Notre Dame, one of most renowned universities in the United States. Looking for a way to assure his case was no longer an exception amid the public schools of his community, Pedro started organizing classes and workshops to low-income students, just like him, in order to help them get into national and international scholarship programs, be in contact with inspirational stories, and perceive education by alternative means such as through extracurricular activities. Most especially, Pedro realized that through dedication and the right opportunities, students could develop their potential and become leaders to improve their communities and the country in the future.

The institute works as an after-school program and counts with over 50 students ranging between 8 and 17 years old enrolled, coming from low-income backgrounds and with outstanding performances at their regular schools. Given that the institute aims to “potentialize” those students and there is a limited number of spots, a process selects those students who show great interest in education and in taking most of all the academic opportunities that they will be in contact with. His mother, Ana Paula Cardoso, who was a Portuguese teacher and had been involved with social work for around 12 years, later joined the initiative and has been the main actor in helping expand the program’s outreach. The institute also counts with over 50 volunteer professionals, including teachers from the best private schools in the city, psychologists, speech therapists, caseworkers, doctors/dentists, and professionals responsible for the maintenance of the school and for preparing the daily meals for the students. As a next step in the endeavor of expanding its outreach even more, the volunteers of André Luiz Educational Institute are raising funds and working towards building the Casa Acolhedora Irmã Dulce, which will accommodate kids between 4 and 7 years old and where they will have different extracurricular and educational activities. In the future, they will also be able to study at the André Luiz Educational Institute and continue on this track of academic and social development so they can, in the future, attend some of the best schools and universities in Brazil and in the world, and become effective agents of transformation in their respective communities.

We also have the Leadership for the Future with the teenagers and Little Seeds with children from 8 to 11 years old with the team of the Fora da Caixa (Out of the Box). You can learn more about the project reading the full article in the digital magazine Openzine and in the site of the institution. https://educandarioeinstitutoandreluiz.org/

PEACE CULTURE PROGRAMS

Education for Peace– the program consisting of three cycles that are interrelated, enables a systemic vision of the human being, culture and the environment. We introduce studies of philosophy, contemplative practices and the strategies of non-violence created by Mahatma Gandhi and several pacifist teachings. We explore the neuroscience researches on compassion and mindfulness. Our objectives are the strengthening of emotional intelligence, resilience, appreciation of diversity, the peaceful resolution of conflicts and self-knowledge. We encourage participants to engage in volunteer projects of environmental protection, social causes and have active participation in the community.

Leadership for the future –this program offers young people between 12 and 17 years old an opportunity to learn to how to meditate, reflect, hear each other, disagree with elegance, strengthen the convictions and discover talents. We explore in our meetings non-violent strategies created by Mahatma Gandhi through movies and documentaries about personalities such as Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Malala, Dalai Lama among others in order to inspire and introduce ethical models, beings that changed the world through compassion, love and altruism. We talk with the teenagers about emotional intelligence, prejudices, stress, bullying, depression and suicide prevention. Participants are invited and motivated to carry out projects that benefit the community and awaken compassion and responsibility to the people and the planet.

As strategies, we use:

  • Documentaries
  • Dialogue circles
  • Workshops
  • Lectures

Little Seeds– this program starts in February 2019, with approximately 24 children aged 8 to 11 years, where we will have the opportunity to apply the curriculum SEE Learning developed by Emory University to guide our activities. Our main aspiration is to create an education of heart and mind, to help children to embody precious human and social values. Our goal is to multiply these initiatives in public and private schools of the community.

The participants in the program of Leadership for the Future reported a great benefit, demonstrating that the strategies presented have been considered effective in integration, communication, respect and unity of the group. There was an increase of empathy, less bullying, anxiety and stress reduction. We noticed a strengthening of friendship bonds and respect among all. Through the practice of dialogue and empathic listening they learned to accept different points of view and/or disagree with respect, providing a more efficient communication, in a loving and inclusive manner.

Fora da Caixa (Out of the box) – Cultural Collective

Our team is composed of individuals who work in different professional areas but have one goal in common: working on the development of cultural, educational and social actions. Through regular programs on non-violence, health, education for peace, art, environment, taxes, courses, workshops and meetings of thematic dialogues, we seek to rescue the involvement of individuals in the improvement of life in society, promoting culture of peace actions, voluntary simplicity, ethics and courtesy in relations. We have a large network of teachers and staff who share their knowledge and talents in our program.

Regina Proençais a teacher, translator and researcher. Graduated in Philosophy, Master in Communication and Culture. Meditation practitioner since 2003. Has worked actively in the last 25 years in the implementation of Peace Education projects, philosophy and contemplative practices. Currently working on her PhD project on the impact of non-violence strategies, contemplative practices and social, emotional and ethical education with children and young people. Founder and coordinator of the cultural collective Fora da Caixa.

Ricardo Albuquerque is a web developer and producer of our digital magazine Openzine, bachelor’s degree in Advertising and Marketing.

Nathália Grespan is a biologist, artisan and editor of our digital magazine Openzine.

Mirela Proença is a Human Resource Analyst and is a facilitator in our Leadership program.

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