Associação Comunitária Monte Azul

The Associação Comunitária Monte Azul (ACOMA) is a Brazilian NGO that is active in three Favelas in the southern part of São Paulo , M’Boi Mirim / Campo Limpo. The organization was founded in 1979 by the German Waldorf teacher Ute Craemer together with the residents of the Favela Monte Azul. In the 1980s the work spread to the Favela Peinha nearby and to Horizonte Azul on the southern edge of the city. The project is a successful example in sustainable development cooperation between equal partners.

The organization’s main areas of work are slum renovation, education and further education for children and young people, culture , health care and environmental conservation . The Associação Comunitária Monte Azul today has more than 260 employees and receives around 70 overseas volunteers per year, 20 of these from other countries, in particular Germany.


The Favela Monte Azul, which has around 3000 residents, was established in the 1970s during the period of urbanization due to the rural depopulation of North-eastern Brazil and the provinces of Minas Gerais and Paraná. Through the project, which is one of the most popular social issues among the Waldorf School, she came into contact with the children of the Favela. It began with afternoon care in Ms Craemer’s own home. Out of this impulse to build a bridge between the different classes of Society, a project that is still growing and continually incorporates new aspects. At present there are an estimated 32,000 people benefitting from the work of Monte Azul.

Monte Paílida , Brazil , [1] the cultural and social center Aramitán [2] in Sao Paulo and the NGO Associação Comunitária of Barra de Lama. [3] Northern Brazil.


There are some 1350 children and young people being cared for by the schools, nursery schools, training workshops and a local Waldorf school, the work being based on the principles of Waldorf Education and Anthroposophy . A further 80 people with Special Needs are available for another training workshop. One of the principles of the Association Comunitária Monte Azul is a network of young people who share their knowledge of the world and their lives. em.


Through re-enlivening and cultivating local cultural traditions the feeling of self-worth and confidence of the people is strengthened. Through meeting with foreign cultures their horizons are broadened, their consciousness stimulated and they nurture a culture based on peace. In all of its three centers, Monte Azul has a theater and conference rooms as well as libraries. A variety of courses, further education, theatrical and musical events, with around 600 people a month participating.

Along with this, they run a music school where children and young people from the Favela are able to learn string instruments, to play in an orchestra and to sing in the choir.

Teacher enrichment

From the start it was essential to further educate and train the co-workers, for they themselves had grown up in the Favela. In this way a culture of study and further education that has become a hallmark of Monte Azul.

There is a three-year in-service training program in Waldorf that they call the Indian name for the hummingbird : “Mainumby”. In this way the co-workers of public organizations can train as Waldorf teachers for the accreditation of which they are currently in negotiation with the Brazilian government. In this way the Association Comunitaria Monte Azul has become a gathering point for socially engaged people and educators. Basic training, internships, research and publication of teaching materials and books, and organizational, financial and professional issues for social workers, mentoring of universities and other areas are far from their professional involvement. A project in environmental education was implemented in collaboration withUNESCO is a pilot project in establishing women’s co-operatives. Besides this, each co-worker, also those with a university degree, does an apprenticeship in social work with the principle of lifelong learning in mind.


In Monte Azul Ambulatório Or Clinic, the residents of the Favela are those of the neighboring communities receiving treatment. General practitioners, pediatricians, orthopedic surgeons, dentists, psychologists and psychiatrists are available for consultation. Treatment takes place on a holistic basis extended through anthroposophical medicine .

In the Angela House , women and their families receive medical care and guidance through pregnancy, birth and pre-natal issues throughout the first year of the child. The Casa Angela is the first official licensed birth center in Brazil. It aims to improve the poor level of obstetrics care for low-income families and the high rate of education in Brazil.

The Casa da Trilha treats people with addiction and psychiatric problems. Besides this, Monte Azul is a partner of the city of São Paulo in the program Estrategia Saúde da Família , being responsible for the municipality of São Luís in which live some 320,000 people. The aim of the program is to try to improve the general medical care of the population.

Environmental education

From the beginning, environmental awareness played a central role. Fruit and vegetables are grown in the world of pesticides and are delivered to the kitchens at Monte Azul, ensuring a balanced and healthy diet for children.

By organising community projects the residents of Monte Azul cleared the area of ​​garbage, introduced re-cycling and built a sewerage system. In spite of there being no municipal re-cycling the Favela independently runs to center where garbage collectors ( Catadores ) can deliver their waste. They have entered into a collaboration with the Technical University of Berlin . [4]

Cultural center

In all three areas of ACOMA there are performances and performances, musical and other artistic presentations. In the Centro Cultural Monte Azul the residents of the Favela and neighboring suburbs direct their own productions. They can wait for concerts, plays and shows of well-known Brazilian and international artists, usually about eight to ten per month.

Besides the productions, races in dance and sport are offered. ACOMA hires drama teachers and actors who internship professional productions in theater workshops with the Favela residents that they normally perform twice a year.

Concept and co-worker guidance

A month ago 260 co-workers meet (without the co-workers of the primary health care centers) in one of the three Favelas, mostly in the Cultural Center of Monte Azul for enrichment and art courses and for exchange cultural. Mostly something from the work of Waldorf. New Co-workers and New International Volunteers are welcomed or wished goodbye if their period of service has come to an end.

Through these regular meetings a feeling of community and the vision of its activities is developed and developed. Every second week the co-workers of each Favela meet internally for an afternoon of similar activities.

To a large extent, the organization has been structured by a process of consensus. This means that all co-workers can be a party to decisions and take responsibility for the whole. Within this structure of Joseph Beuys’s ” Social Sculpture ” and the ideas on the social dimension of Rudolf Steiner are in this sense each co-worker is one of two or more of them. In addition, further work on Waldorf education is studied.


  • ITAU-UNICEF-Prize 1995.
  • Culture prize of the city of São Paulo 1995.
  • Brotherhood Award of the Goodwill-Legion, Brasilia 1996.
  • Efficiency Prize (Kanitz Foundation, Brazil 1997)
  • Preis der deutschen Pestalozzistiftung, 1997.
  • Coca-Cola-Preis for youth theater, 1998.
  • Criança-Cidadã-Prize of the Brazilian Government 1998.
  • Ashoka Prize for Innovative Ideas, Brazil 1998.
  • Prêmio Criança da Abrinq, 1998.
  • Paul-Harris-Fellow Prize (Rotary Club)


  • Ute Craemer: Favela Children 2013 ASIN B00B908MMS.
  • Dunja Batarilo: The Brückenbauerin. Wie Ute Craemer die Favela Monte Azul verwandelte, ISBN  978-3-942073-28-8 . (An authorised biography)
  • Ute Craemer, Renate Ignacio Keller: Transformar e possível . Editora Peirópolis, 2010, ISBN  978-85-7596-135-3 .
  • Ute Craemer: Favela Monte Azul: Hoffnungen, Ziele, Erfahrungen. Sozialarbeit in São Paulo. Verlag Freies Geistesleben, 1987, ISBN  3-7725-0896-0 .
  • Angela Gehrke da Silva: Als Hebamme in Brazil. Urachhaus, 2003, ISBN  3-8251-7418-2 .


  1. Jump up^ “São Paulo Paideia” . . Retrieved October 3, 2013 .
  2. Jump up^
  3. Jump up^ “Associação Comunitária of Barra de Lama – Gameleira (PE)” . Associação Comunitária of Barra de Lama – Gameleira (PE) .
  4. Jump up^ “Projekt Lap’s go” . Zusammenarbeit Entwickeln .

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