Alphabetization is an important issue when it comes to mobilization of the civil society in Brazil, and we visits schools for adult education in two favela’s in Belem and in the river area close to Saô Domingos do Capim – a smaller city south of Belem.
Mova is a public adult education movement and NEP (Nucleo de educacaô Paulo Freire) is a civic organization, both organizations are in the business of alphabetization based on the ideas of Paulo Freire.
Mova provides school education equivalent to primary school level – and passing the exam (5 level) is necessary if you want to register any kind of private business. But this is not the only reason for signing in. One of the students we speak with wants to continue education in the health sector others are there just to educate themselves and being part of the community in the evening classes. Wagner Magno – their teacher – stresses the importance of enlightenment and empowerment. Everybody need to see the possibilities for improving their own life, nobody benefits from sitting and waiting for the government to do something for them. We need to find our own way out of poorness and suppression.
Sâo Domingos do Capim
It is the same attitude we find in the rainforest Saturday morning, where we are meeting the volunteers working with alphabetization in the river region around Saô Domingos do Capim. Pascaô is one of the volunteer’s, he is organizing landless people and he is educating him selves as teacher in the NEP- alphabetization program. “I am here, because I need to know more about the society and how issues are connected”, he stresses, “But the school is also a refuge, where you can enjoy a moment of community, a place, where someone’s are wise and everybody can participate”.
Sergio Xorrêa is coordinator of NEP-activities in the area. He is born in Saô Domingos do Capim, he has studied at the university and he is a member of Salomaô’s research team. He knows the importance of a sustainable development of the rain forest. But he blames the University for doing too little research about how people can improve their daily way of living. There is money enough in research about intensive exploration of the forest where big companies are involved, but when it comes to small-scale development, there is no interest or resources for research. But it is positive, that land claims has been easier for the cooperative movements, and the parliament has now decided, that only 20% of the forest can be used for development in big scale.