When Projectos Amigos Das Crinças (PAC) opened their new community center in the São Domingos neighborhood in São Paulo, creating a foundation of trust was their number one priority.
PAC is a non-profit whose mission is to promote the personal and social development of at risk youth up to 18 years old. In addition to PAC’s two children’s homes, their community center has become the heart of the neighborhood. As we know it today, PAC’s thriving center serves over 120 youth in the neighborhood and offers social and educational activities (such as ballet and art classes), playgrounds, income generating workshops for families, and psychosocial care. How did PAC establish trust with the families of the neighborhood to become a shining light in a sometimes grim area?
The answer is actually quite simple. When PAC first opened their doors they built a free library available to everyone in the neighborhood. Free of charge, anyone could stop by and borrow a book. This was the first time residents of the neighborhood didn’t have to pay to check something out. Rosane Chene, Founding Director of PAC, points to this simple gesture as symbol for how they hoped to be a part of the community. “We used this library as our way to show we trust the people of São Domingos, so they can trust us.”
Since the early days of the community center, PAC has always prided itself in listening and being part of the neighborhood. With these goals in mind, they are taking on a new challenge of building a second community center in a neighboring area, Pirituba. The vision is to develop and construct an adequate space to increase social and cultural inclusion. With help from Zendesk, PAC was able purchase an empty plot of land, getting one step closer to making this vision a reality.
From an empty lot, PAC plans to construct a colorful 765 square metered building complete with a cafeteria, classrooms, a computer room, a dance studio, meeting spaces, and office spaces to serve over 2,500 families and their 300+ children and teens. To help visualize this space, Zendesk worked with PAC to create a VR experience of the Community Center. Through this and the renderings, you can clearly envision this beautiful space empowering youth and their families to grow, learn and ultimately drive this neighborhood of São Paulo to be a more equal place.
Through opening its doors to all the community, PAC’s community centers are a trusted and loving place helping to lift up many children and their families.