Arca do Crescer : A éducação é o caminho – “Education is the way to a better future”
Location of Impact : Favela Prudente, Brazil

ARCA is located in the oldest favela in São Paulo, with a population of over 8,000. According to the Social Progress Index (SPI), calculated in 2017 on the favela of Vila Prudente by the IPSOS Institute, 1 out of 2 inhabitants has difficulties in accessing medical care, only 10% of adults have a high school diploma (ENEM in Brazil), the unemployment rate (before the COVID crisis) was over 30%; the majority of people who work do not have a work contract. At Arca de Noé, we believe that education is the way to a better future.In 2017, the Arca do Crescer professional centre was inaugurated, to offer free professional training, particularly to teenagers who had left Arca do Saber and, more broadly, to young adults in the favela. Thanks to partnerships with French companies based in São Paulo, ARCA has set up short vocational training courses (3 to 4 months) in sales, hotel management, bakery, logistics, Google suite and computer tools, self-entrepreneurship and personal financial management. Young people who enrol in the vocational courses also participate in English, computer and ‘behavioural’ courses to develop skills to enter the formal labour market. They also receive help in writing their CVs and training for job interviews. Through our network, a number of them are then recruited on an “apprenticeship contract” by partner companies. 

This period at Arca do Crescer also aims to give them back their self-confidence and to encourage them to resume or continue their studies.In 2020, more than 100 young adults were trained at Arca do Crescer, 79% of whom were women. Since 2020, we have also set up a mentoring system, between employees of partner companies and young people who have graduated from Crescer and are starting to work, which is a very promising experience as it helps young people to “decode” the corporate work world.


The organisation carrying the project 

ARCA has been supporting the development of the inhabitants of the Vila Prudente favela since 2001, from the age of 6 to adulthood, by offering socio-educational activities, training, qualifications and professional orientation. We operate through 2 centres, the Arca do Saber centre for children and the Arca do Crescer vocational training centre for young people over 15. One of our main goals in our work with both children and young people is to increase their self-esteem and confidence so that they have the will to continue/return to education beyond the age of 15. 

Our NGO, whose DNA is Franco-Brazilian, also helps to “break down the psychological walls of the favela” by opening up our beneficiaries to the outside world through the presence of foreign volunteers who come to lead activities and English and French classes. Our action, which is mainly focused on children and young people, also reaches out to families thanks to the work of our social worker, conferences and specific actions that we undertake for parents. Finally, our organisation is integrated into the “favela ecosystem” and works in relation with the “favela inhabitants’ collective -MDF”, the recycling cooperative, the cultural centre, the pastoral centre and the dispensary.


Key figures

  • 130 children are cared for daily at Arca do Saber

  • 146 diplomas awarded in 2020 thanks to the Arca do Crescer courses

  • 67% of the students in the courses declare themselves to be women

  • Over 20 years of existence and experience



Grant : 5000€

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