Since 2009, the Instituto Hatus, a Brazilian association, has supported 400 children and teenagers from the favelas of São Paolo. The association aims to contribute to the cultural and artistic development of the beneficiaries, mainly through classical music. The association hopes to stop young people drifting and reduce their risk of being caught up in violence or drugs, by offering them daily cultural activities during their free time. The Building Citizenship with Art project started in February 2012 and was designed for low-income families. Its aim is to make the children and teenagers who benefit from it more aware of music as a means of education and social integration.
This year, 200 youths are receiving free lessons in singing, acting, musical theatre, recorder, violin, cello, viola and flute, and will also be able to join one of the association's orchestras. The lessons are provided from Monday to Thursday, from 8 am to 5.30 pm, and every Friday the participants can go on a cultural outing. 130 lessons are given every month by 8 teachers and a conductor, in addition to around 150 hours of cultural activities.
The institute advocates learning-by-doing and allows the children to quickly try the instruments meaning their progression can be continually monitored, boosting their self confidence and providing them with an incentive to persevere. The students are regularly assessed. The association also provides transport and meals for the students, to encourage their parents to let them take part in the activities. The community and participants' families are regularly invited to free shows and concerts.
Societe Generale Brazil dedicated the week of 8-14 June to Citizen Commitment Time, a time for solidarity, through initiatives which involve sport, music and art in educating young people from charities supported by Brazil. A concert was organised and nearly 200 employees were able to attend the performances of the Hatus Institute and Casa do Zezinho orchestras.