Attention: There Are Children in the Area


I have spent most of my time in Brazil in the city of Sao Paulo. Here, I have had the chance to learn about the struggles concerning land ownership. I've learned that people feel ignored because their needs seldom come first in the minds of government leaders and other powerful figures. 

What community need did I learn about?:

The first community I learned about was the EMEI Gabriel Prestes preschool. The school has almost 200 students between the ages of four and five. About a third of the students come from middle-class families, and the rest come from poorer families who work near or with the school. The school promotes the arts as a way to teach children autonomy and creativity.

A nearby university, Mackenzie Presbyterian University, has been trying to buy the land on which the school sits. The university wants the land because it is convenient for mass transit and has a high property value. If the university buys the land, the school will close permanently.

This situation shows how community needs can clash with private interests, especially for land, which is valuable in a growing city such as Sao Paulo.