Sunday, June 16, 2013

In the future i want to be.....

During our monday session with Jess, who takes the 8-9 year olds, the topic was 'aspirations'.  As usual the classes started around 15 minutes behind  the allocated time (we have become accustom to the way that Briaziians view punctuality after 2 weeks of classes ) and consisted of the usual hustle and bustle before everyone finally settled down. The children were extremely friendly as usual and greeted us with a simle and some hugs. Before the class had begun Jess had written on the board in English (followed by the Portuguese translation) the sentence" in the future i want to be...." followed by a list of different career choices such as a doctor, an actor, a footballer, a fireman etc. The task for this session was for the children to write the sentence( in English) filling in what they would like their career in the future to be (it could be anything and didn't have to be one already listed on the board), and drawing a picture underneath.

This was a really insightful exercise for us as outsiders from England. We have come into this space with a particular perspective on this age group formed from our own experience back in the UK and it was interesting to see how the topic of 'future careers' was taken by the children in Rocinha. I was sitting next to one little girl Anna who started by drawing her picture, it was of a little stick figured girl on a catwalk with people sitting either side, she proceeded to tell me that 'in the future she wants to be a model'. This  little girls drawing seemed to be a prime example of the highly debated topic - the structure of education in Rocinha . We have had many convosations with the other volunteers, whose take on the structure of the system is that it places very little emphasis on leaning or progression, resulting in little boys and girls dreaming of a career as a football star or Victoria Secret model ( they see this as their only way to escape a lifetime in Rocinha with little work or prospects for the future). However despite this well acknowledged belief, when taking a closer look at other members of the class it seemed many had totally different aspirations and hopes for their futures. One little boy had written that he wanted to be a biologist for animals! there were also drawings of teachers and vets.
For us this class was an eye opener on our journey to the january river and it made us more aware that a this age these children have so much ahead of them, and while the road may be filled with blockades and barriers its not all doom and gloom for them  'no futuro' .

Olivia Jackman
Masters Student from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, London
2bros Voluntourist

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