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Forinho (Youth Social Forum): for a future in which another world is possible

domingo 26 de janeiro de 2014, por Diane Garceau, Ingrid Bezerra, Terezinha Vicente , Thiago Skárnio

Todas as versões desta matéria: [English] [Português do Brasil]

Aimed at children and adolescents in situations of social vulnerability, the Forinho (Youth Social Forum, formerly Forunzinho) is an integral part of the WSF process in Porto Alegre. (translation by Diane Garceau)

Amongst the activities offered in the Forinho during the time that we spent there today were storytelling, as well as workshops on puppetry (photo), traditionalism, and the construction of toys and instruments from scraps.

Organized a year ago by the NGO Cataventus, when it was renamed Forinho (formerly Forunzinho), the event also changed location. The Rio Grande do Sul State School, in downtown Porto Alegre, was the location chosen this year to host the event.

Forest by Jô da Sucata (Jocelaine Machado)

"Decked out" for the occasion by volunteers in order to host the Forum aimed at children and adolescents from 5 to 16 years old in vulnerable situations, the school welcomes, from today until the 25th, diverse schools, institutions, and social projects that embrace these citizens of the future.

The success of the Forinho is mainly due to its volunteers. Student and actress,Yasmin Basso, librarian, Jane Basso, retiree and storyteller, Guilhermina Garcia, (in the photo, from left to right) recount how the acquiring of space to host the Forinho was largely due to the volunteers, who brought all the workshop materials, including the coffee. "We pay to be volunteers," said Jane. There are close to 80 volunteers this year, which is about how many there were in the previous edition, when they received around 3000 children and adolescents, an average of 500 per day, according to Erica Mylius, general coordinator of the Forinho, retired professor, and president of Cataventus. "The Forinho is almost an individual action;” said Erica, "the material is everything in the organization, we bring a lot of the material from our homes." Some partnerships with companies were also made.

Erica welcomes another institution that arrived for the afternoon

Retired professor, Fátima Siqueira (photo), is giving a workshop on “traditionalism,” telling “the story of the RS, of our costumes, and traditions.” They are activities that attract schools and projects, including those of neighbouring cities. Also, in Porto Alegre, they can now count on free transportation with Trensurb, as long as they are credentialed with the Forinho.

The coordinator said that it is not possible to tell what the demand will be this year, since it is only the first day. In fact, we have seen the application – for tomorrow afternoon – of an institution that will bring 32 adolescents and 5 children. There is an institution that will be coming every day, another that will bring its children every afternoon. The main focus will be environmental awareness, social responsibility and encouragement of the reading habit. “The idea is to give the children a sense of responsibility for the planet, which is theirs,” concludes Erica.

Swap Fair – children can bring toys or books that they no longer want and exchange it for another

Text and photos: Terezinha Vicente. Vídeo: Ingrid Bezerra and Thiago Skárnio