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Goodwill Ambassador Danny Glover inspires, and is inspired by, youths in São Paulo

© UNICEF Brazil/2007/ Silva
Goodwill Ambassador Danny Glover meets with Brazilian students during his visit to a UNICEF-supported project in São Paulo.

SÃO PAULO, Brazil, 9 October 2007 – “Every day I see children and adolescents holding in their hands an immense potential for transformation,” said Goodwill Ambassador Danny Glover during his recent visit to two UNICEF-supported projects in São Paulo, Brazil. 

The actor, who has been a Goodwill Ambassador since 2004, is in Brazil shooting his next film, entitled ‘Blindness’. Enjoying a day free from filming, Mr. Glover was accompanied by fellow actors Yoshino Kimura and Yusuke Iseya as well as the film's producer, Sonoko Sakai, on a visit to the Aprendiz City-School, which has been promoting a unique form of community education since 1997. 

Located in the Vila Madalena district of São Paulo, Aprendiz City-School has created a vast, outdoor ‘classroom’ that incorporates community spaces such as streets and theatres. This experimental approach allows children and adolescents to learn everywhere, all the time. 

“Thanks to visits to museums, cultural centres and historical sites of São Paulo, I enhanced my knowledge about culture and now I see the city in a different way,” said Aprendiz student Robert Sabino, 19. 

Youths constructing their own future

At Aprendiz, Mr. Glover observed young people producing wall-graffiti paintings in an outdoor gallery, while others painted colourful t-shirts. He also observed English classes for students preparing to take university entrance exams.  Mr. Glover spoke to the young Brazilians in the classes and encouraged them to play an active role in constructing their own future and fighting social injustice.

Mr. Glover also spoke to youths about the steps UNICEF and its partners are taking to put an end to child labour – an effort appreciated by student Karen Dias de Almeida.

“Solving the problem of child labour is very important to improve the lives of children throughout the world,” she said. “When I started classes, I always had to work. Only when I was able to give priority to my studies could I start dreaming of a better life.”

Promoting equality through education

Mr. Glover went on to speak onstage at the Carlos Maximiliano State School, which had been scheduled to be shut down but was instead renovated through community participation and turned into a cultural centre. He encouraged community members to continue involving themselves in education.

“There is an African saying that it takes a city to educate a child,” Mr. Glover stressed.

He also visited a UNICEF collaborator, the Research Centre on Labour Relations and Inequality; the non-governmental organization is dedicated to promoting racial and gender equality.

“Once these young people take ownership of themselves and realize the power that they have, we will then be able to change our future," said Mr. Glover. "It makes me very happy to talk with these children and adolescents who are participating in the construction of their own growth and emancipation.” 



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