We pay a visit to Felipe Pitaro at the Gol de Letra Foundation offices in a compound just outside the border of the Caju Favela.
The Gol de Letra Foundation was begun by the famous Brazilian soccer players Rai and Leonardo and works in the suburbs of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, approaching social problems through Art, Culture, Education and Sport. The focus at the Caju location has been on literacy, and they have a library from which people can borrow books or study in.
Felipe tells us that because of it's connection to the soccer players, many people identify the organization only with sports. They are very interested in the Arts and Culture as agents of social change. It was during a visit to the Gol de Letra office that we were introduced to Ivan, an artist from the favela Caju who was so excited about the possibility of bringing the 'Crescer com Arte' project to his community. He even has a location in mind that he wanted to show us. We also meet Cristiane Lemos working there. She is from the community and plans on running for city councillor so that 'I can bring some good things to my Caju'.
There are eight separate favelas that make up the huge favela Caju and Felipe is in contact with the leadership of all these communities. He believes that the project would be welcome and will put the idea forward to them and give us directions for resources. 'Crescer com Arte' will probably have to become an ONG (NGO) in order to raise the funding. We could use the Gol de Letra space as a base to work out from.
We say goodbye to Felipe Pitaro, Crislaine de Lima and the rest of the staff at this fantastic organization, leaving behind some Canadiana gifts that they can pass along to the children.