Covid-19 has impacted the child’s rights movement in ways we can’t even comprehend yet. After a year of interrupted education, instability at home and without access to the structures that would protect and guide them, many of these children will probably never return to school, and the organisations that care for them are struggling to reach them and make a positive impact on their lives.

Em Cena Arte e Cidadania (On Stage: Art and Citizenship) is a Brazilian NGO based in Recife founded in 1998 by a group of friends who strongly believed they could make a difference in the world through the arts, in all its forms of development, in dignity and in comedy, in persuasion and in exaggeration, in fantasy and reality. For 15 years they have been working with teens to transform their lives through art. But they were severely impacted by Covid.

During the pandemic, they weren’t able to run in-person activities with the children. From March 2020 to December 2020 they offered online classes for the kids and gave out food to 130 families from the community who had to stop working during the lockdown. During this “online” time they realized that the community did not identify Em Cena Arte e Cidadania as an art school anymore, the relationship between the institution and the potential local partners got weaker and weaker and they were going to probably “lose” their 40 kids who had not been attending classes for more than a year, by that point. For them, it is important for kids to have classes with teachers and fellows. Online classes are great, they bring a lot into education but it is a kind of education that lacks the skin to skin practices that one can find in dance, for instance.

That is the baseline: Em Cena needs to work on how to thrive in a post-Covid world, to strengthen the Em Cena Arte e Cidadania brand in the territory where they work and to the outside world and balance it with the body-to-body work that happens in the dancing and creativity classes. This TIE project will help Em Cena strengthen their activities and sustainability by helping them reconnect with the local population and stay relevant in a post-Covid reality.