Spotlight on Sociedade 1º de Maio, Brazil:
Spreading Peace, Fighting Domestic Violence
At Cluberê, children perform traditional folk dance as part of extra-school activities.
August 2006. The people of Novos Alagados suburb, in the city of Salvador, Brazil, struggle with a serious problem that affects a large portion of families in Brazil: domestic violence. Domestic violence has tremendous impact on children’s educational potential and is one of the reasons why many children perform poorly in school. CIRCLE partner Sociedade 1o de Maio designed a series of activities aimed to fight this problem.

Parents of children participating in the CIRCLE project are invited to participate in gender and income generation workshops. 1o de Maio also identifies mothers that are victims of domestic violence and invites them to participate in a Women’s Group focused on prevention. In the group, women talk about their problems at home and carry out creative self-esteem-building activities.
Domestic Violence was affecting the physical and psychological health of two young brothers in Novos Alagados. Their mother took part in the workshops organized by the project and participated in the local Women’s Prevention Group. As a result, the mother learned her rights and found the strength to defend herself from her violent husband. The children now feel an increased sense of safety and say that their mother is not beaten anymore. Their overall school performance, behavior and communication with the other children have also improved.
These activities are part of the CIRCLE project entitled Cluberê, which has assisted 300 at-risk children and adolescents in poor neighborhoods through a number of educational and cultural activities.

The Cluberê project has received awards, such as the Itaú-UNICEF Award, for its strong success.