“For me, our first English class was an amazing day. Since the first week of the Covid lock down our primary objective was to bring food to homeless people and residents of the surrounding slums. People were totally helpless in the arms of vulnerability. We ran campaigns, created partnerships, joined forces with public authorities, private companies and social movements with the aim of bringing food to these people's tables and, in addition to food, we brought hugs, listening and offering human warmth. We began to build bridges between donor and receiver.
Next we set up and held events such as Resenha da Tropa, two days of free festivities for the neighborhood. But then, the pandemic crisis was decreasing and along with it the donations. Food became increasingly expensive and farther from the table of low-income people. I already had in mind that the best way to emancipate someone was through education.
Education holds the key to all doors, but even so, there were still several fronts for TROPA to resolve. These last few years have been challenging and even so things are beginning to move forward! I continued on my path of growth and world understanding. After finally having the opportunity to travel abroad to Canada with my incredible wife and partner Lianna Walden, I had no doubt of the necessity to empower the ghetto and the outskirts with knowledge.
I had always dreamed of seeing a room full of children learning. For this I have worked day and night and today we had the incredible gift of welcoming the children in. Children I saw born in the ghettos came to their first English class, with teachers my wife Lianna and our American partner William Pustai. For me it was like stepping into a new phase and raising the level. This action made all the struggle and effort feel worthwhile. It was the beginning of a new moment for TROPA, a new moment for me and a new moment for the neighborhood of Lapa in the centre of Rio de Janeiro.
The children loved the first English class. Being in an area where there is much English spoken, they learned the meaning of words which they are delighted to repeat now over and over. We have a commitment to offer this class weekly where the children are eager to return and bring more friends!!
Even through all the challenges, TROPA is creating a world bringing the levels of society together as ONE!”
Director of TROPA - Fernando Shackal