Our Brazil Alumina operation has taken steps to help transform the lives of young people from one of Rio de Janeiro’s most disadvantaged communities.
The Orquestra Maré do Amanhã project – which means The Tide of Tomorrow – aims to provide students living in the city’s Maré neighbourhood with the opportunity to learn music, discipline, team work and collective citizenship.
With an estimated population of 130,000, Maré is a low-income area in which shootouts and confrontations between organised crime groups and the police are commonplace.
Our sponsorship will now help the project to continue to provide classes in the neighbourhood and create positive opportunities for the area’s young people to succeed.
Ricardo Fontes Santana, our Head of Finance Brazil, said: “This project is a fantastic initiative which gives young people from Maré the chance to transform their lives through music.
“By providing these children and teenagers with a positive outlet to focus on, we help minimise their exposure to organised crime which is one of the most effective investments in social projects that we could undertake.”
The Orquestra Maré do Amanhã project was established by Carlos Eduardo Prazeres in memory of his father Armando – a renowned orchestra conductor – who was kidnapped, robbed and killed on his way to collect one of his children from school in January 1999.
Mr Prazeres’s murder was never solved although his car was recovered in Maré which led the authorities to believe that the killer resided somewhere in the surrounding area.
His son Carlos said: “The police came to the conclusion that my father’s murderer was from Maré’s neighbourhood. Then I said: ‘It was in Maré that my father´s dream was interrupted, and it will be there that I will make his dream raise again.’”
The project now works with all children aged three-years-old and above who are enrolled in Maré’s public school system. The younger children involved receive music lessons as part of their basic curriculum while older students are given daily after-school activities.
The most talented musicians identified by the project are then selected for the ‘Orquestra Maré do Amanhã’ which performs across Brazil and other countries.
Under the new one-year agreement, our Brazil Alumina operation will contribute BRL$600,000 to the Orquestra Maré do Amanhã project.