The Project Berimbanda

Concept of Berimbanda

Calabar…. is a district in the city of Salvador da Bahia. Calabar counts about 25,000 citizens in a very confined space. The unemployment rate is very high and most of the families live of the “bolsa familia”, family allowance. The inhabitants of Calabar struggle with insufficient water as well as electricity supply and the lack of effluent disposal in their daily life. Children of Calabar only have restricted access to school and education in general.

Berimbanda is…. a social meeting point for children and teens from Calabar. The children from the district get access to theatre, dancing, guitar, music and percussion lessons combined with creative handcraft lessons. On the other hand, the children from Calabar receive a healthy diet as well as tutoring for their homeworks.

Berimbanda encourages…. young adults from the district Calabar as they get the opportunity to give lessons to children and teens in workshops. The young adults receive a suitable wage to pay a share of their living.

Our method of operating…. is based on the principles of emancipation in order to encourage the identity and the self-confidence of the children and teens. Berimbanda wants to support the idea of capacity building in order to provide an ongoing progress.

Origins and development of Berimbanda

The association Berimbanda was founded by dedicated persons from Switzerland and Brazil in Zurich in 2004. The name “Berimbanda” is a composition of the two words “berimbau” and “banda”. Berimbau is a traditional instrument which is used for the Brazilian dance-fight “Capoeira”.

Various events, courses, and festivals were held in Switzerland in the very beginning of the organization. A special tradition of the organization was the construction of music instruments out of recycling material. This passion resulted in a drum band “Bloco Berimbanda”, which performed at various festivals and intercultural events in Switzerland. As a consequence of their performances, the association reached the public at large and generated first fundings for the execution of the project in Brazil.

Thereafter, the project in Calabar was launched in Calabar, Salvador da Bahia, in 2009. The members of the association in Switzerland have focused on the finding of fundings and the development of the project since then. Twice a year charity festivals are held in Zurich.