Acer Brasil – Instituto Devolver

ACER Brasil - Associação de Apoio à Criança em Risco (“Association for the Support of Children At-Risk”), was founded in 1993 to offer an alternative way of life to vulnerable children and youth that lived on the streets of São Paulo. The first efforts were in the centre of the city. ACER educators provided activities that improved street children’s self-esteem and offered support to their families, seeking to provide long- term solutions for their lives far from the streets.
In March of 2003, ACER changed paths. A Community Centre was established in Eldorado, Diadema, one of the most violent neighbourhoods of São Paulo at the time, where many of the youth and children on the streets came from.

ACER reformulated their mission statement to reflect this new work:
“To rescue the dignity of children and youth and promote social transformation.”

Their vision is:
“To serve our community, co-creating strategies of social transformation that meet its needs and actively sharing them with organizations and governments, nationally and internationally.”

In this way, ACER changed their focus to become a Community Development Organization, focused on children and youth.

AREAS

ACER is now built around five areas:
  • Education and Culture, which includes ACER’s library, the capoeira academy, art, guitar and music theory, dance and sewing classes, among other activities.
  • Social Assistance, as advocated for in SUAS – Sistema Único de Assistência Social (“National Social Welfare System”). Families attended are considered to need Medium Complexity Special Protection, in which family ties are fragile.
    Our cases of children and families include victims of domestic violence, sexual abuse and exploitation, child labour, criminal risk or involvement, and alcohol and drug use. We work with the extended family or reintegration into family living.
    In agreement with the National Social Assistance Policy, our family services include the following:
    2.1- Familial Tie Strengthening Service – Children and Adolescents from the ages of six to 15.
    2.2- Reinsertion into Extended Family Service (Family Guardian Programme), that supports with family accompaniment and financial subsidy children and teenagers who have been removed from their parents and placed in kinship care by judicial order.
  • Community Development – encouraging and counselling individuals and groups with the goal of changing the community’s social and economic reality and administering a micro-finances fund for the community with a specialized partner.
  • Adolescents – working in partnership with local primary schools, a team of adolescents offers regular storytelling and puppet theatre sessions to young students. The youth monitor programme involves teenagers as co-deliverers of all our work in different areas and prepares them for the job market and an adult life.
  • Sports for Social Impact – recovers the use of community sports hard courts and fields for the community, offering rugby, football, basketball, handball, and volleyball sessions complemented by methods developed by our team trained in Coaches across Continents techniques.