• Enter your email address to receive notifications of new posts on the Julio Otoni blog by email.

    Join 23 other followers

  • Blog Posts by Category

  • Project Photos

Julio Otoni opens its doors to adults

The Julio Otoni community centre is now offering English classes to adults living in Julio Otoni. Though the activities organised by volunteers at the centre mainly cater to children and teenagers, adult learners can now participate in evening classes.

Many adults from the community require English in the workplace and have little opportunity to learn elsewhere. Matriculation is now open for the course, which starts next week and will focus on practical communication skills. Adult students will be charged a small monthly fee for the bi-weekly English classes and all proceeds will go directly towards funding the community centre.

If you are interested in making a donation to the Julio Otoni Project, check out our site on Global Giving.

If you are interested in volunteering at Julio Otoni, click here for more information.

Take a bow, Julio Otoni!

The word ‘Cinderella’ was on the lips of everyone in the Julio Otoni community last week, as the children and volunteers prepared for the first theatrical performance to ever take place at the centre. The show was a huge success, attended by the children’s parents and people from the local community. Many guests returned the following night to watch the second performance of Cinderella at Casa 579, where they were also treated to a surprise presentation of capoeira on the terrace.


The volunteers that launched the Cinderella Project also organised a jumble sale and offered haircuts to the children and guests after the performances in order to raise money for the community centre. Though the project has now come to an end, the children were still reciting lines and songs from Cinderella during this week’s classes and have each been presented with a certificate to celebrate their achievements. More photos and videos of the performances are coming soon, so watch this space…

If you are interested in making a donation to the Julio Otoni Project, check out our site on Global Giving.

If you are interested in volunteering at Julio Otoni, click here for more information.

Julio Otoni prepares for Cinderella

The Julio Otoni children have just one more week of rehearsals before their debut performance of Cinderella. They have been busy practising lines, choreography and songs, not to mention raiding wardrobes across the community for play props, in preparation for two performances next weekend.


The first performance will take place at 6pm on April 5th in the Julio Otoni community centre, followed by a jumble sale and cake sale to raise funds for the project. The second performance will take place at 6pm on April 6th in Casa 579, an ethical bed and breakfast in Santa Teresa that has been working with the Julio Otoni Project from the outset. Casa 579 has supported Julio Otoni since 2006 by  helping to coordinate international volunteers wishing to dedicate their time and skills to the project.

The Cinderella Project was launched by volunteers taking part in a work exchange at Casa 579, who aim to teach the Julio Otoni children English through theatre, music and movement. Their version of Cinderella is a traditional fairy tale with a Brazilian twist, featuring special appearances by the Brazilian popstar Thiaguinho as Prince Charming and Lady Gaga as the Fairy Godmother, culminating in a lively Baile Funk where Cinderella loses her Havaiana. The play is set in Julio Otoni and incorporates many of the children’s own ideas, as well as what they have been learning in classes at the community centre over the last five weeks.

To raise money for the project, volunteers are charging R$10 for the Saturday performance at Casa 579, where guests will also be able to buy recycled art made by local artists living in Julio Otoni. All proceeds will go to the Julio Otoni Project.

If you are interested in making a donation to the Julio Otoni Project, check out our site on Global Giving.

If you are interested in volunteering at Julio Otoni, click here for more information.

Recycled Materials Can Make a Work of Art

A mosaic was created using recycled materials which was collected by the children from Julio Otoni – it took the children 3 weeks to collect all the required material. The mosaic was designed by the Chilean/Mexican plastic artist Jose Maria “Kotik” Villela, his ideas of the mural were based on the theme of Capoeira. The construction of the mosaic took two weeks with help from volunteers and the children who worked hard to create the art on the wall of the community center. Through this creative process the children learnt about the possibilities of reusing items. The successful project resulted in an increasing ecological awareness of both the residents and children of the community.

ImageImageImageImage Image

Arts and Crafts at the Community Centre

At Julio Otoni´s Community Centre the children continue to learn new things and develop their skills.

In art classes the children have created their own stories and scenarios by using models made of clay, each group of children were able to conjure up their own world and share their stories with their companions. These stories included a football game, a pond with ducklings and a couple, a seabed,  a forest, a desert, a beach and these were just a few of the imaginative scenes.

During a painting class the children learned how to mix and make different colors by just using primary colours and as a result found a universe of new colours they could usewithin their beautiful designs.

Also in music lessons, they were busy learning rhythms and musical notes, they even made their own drums using bottles and cans and enjoyed playing these new percussion instruments with their hands and feet!

Christmas Party!

The summer is an opportunity to join hands with the community of the favela, the neighbors of the street and some volunteers for new activities. This year the season has started with the preparation for the Christmas party, which also means the conclusion the year. For some the older ones this means that they will engage in other activities.  This year the preparation for the Christmas party was quite special. Children planned the party, prepared many of the presents that were offered to the parents, to the tutors and to their friends. Photos show how happy they felt at the occasion. 2011 was a year of good results for the project. Among other things there was the Vagalumes exhibition that was the result of a three month course on photography and video.

In 2012, there are new plans for increasing activities that bring the children outside the favela, so they can appreciate what the wonderful city of Rio offers in terms of museums, music and other activities free of charge.

The Julio Otoni Project has a Logo!

The Julio Otoni project has finally got its very own logo! The logo has been designed by photographer and graphic designer Sally Mitchell from Design Room in Cornwall after Sally volunteered herself at the Julio Otoni Project a couple of years ago.

We wanted a logo that captured the spirit of the Community Centre that has become a second home for many of the children and the love and warmth that is generated in this space by the people that have helped support the project over the years.We asked Sally if she would design the logo as who better than someone who had been a volunteer herself at the project?!

We absolutely love it and hope you do too….

The Julio Otoni Project Logo