Founded in 1991 „ARCO Associação Beneficente“ is a children’s emergency based in the south of São Paulo in one of the poorest and most criminal areas of the city. Everyday life is dominated by poverty. Single mothers leave their homes early in the morning to work as housekeepers in the city. Children take adult jobs to support their families. The entrances to the houses look like rubbish dumps. ARCO looks after almost 600 children and youths from deprived families aged between 1 and 18 years. With full-day care for children up to the age of 6 and the half-day care for children up to the age of 18, ARCO provides a safe place for the children and prevents child labour.
Within the functional facilities, the children are educated, nourished and encouraged towards a job training to help them towards a promising future. ARCO employs professionals from the fields of education, psychology, logopaedia, nutrition, social work, health care, music and sports. Many children live in unsteady family circumstances (60% of the children have only their mother to rely on). As a result, ARCO is providing valuable social support in the Favelas in order to give children a place of happiness.