Football and socialization in Sao Paulo
Football is not just the national sport of Brazil. It is something more and worshiped as something divine. Young children in the slums, kicking a ball in the streets and having a dream to look like their idols.
On the outskirts of the city of Sao Paulo, these children now have their own home. The football school called EPROCAD it's now their roof, where not only learning football, but something much more. Socialized, receive education, work in groups and mold their inner world.
The primary goal of the program was to operate solely as a football academy where the kids of Sao Paulo will have the opportunity to develop the hidden talent, with the hope sometime to become professional footballers and to wear the shirt of the National Brazil team. However, the target changed and now the aim is not only this, but also to help those children who really need help from a social standpoint.
Little Thiago is one such case. Problems at home and at school had a strong and negative effect on his personality. His participation in the program EPROCAD helped considerably, not only to nurture his football talent, but mainly to break the shackles of his closed character and be able to gain his lost confidence.
"In football academies we let our kids do what they want, unlike what happens in school. However, there are limitations. It is a foreign environment for them. They feel free, something you do not find in other areas of their lives." says a teacher of the program.
When little Thiago first came to the football academies of EPROCAD, he was ashamed to speak, not able to cooperate with other children and generally unable to socialize. Now with his participation in the program, he has the power of speech, has formed his own views, has laid the foundation of a nice education in the classrooms and the program in general has built his confidence.
"Sometimes I think how would be my life if I had not come to EPROCAD. I know that i'm getting older and eventually will have to leave and wonder what to do after. I have no words to describe how I feel here, but things would be very different without it." adds Thiago...