Utility company fights poverty in Brazil with music

China 24

It’s not often a utility company is associated with classical music. But that’s exactly what you’ll find from the Brazilian subsidiary of the State Grid Corporation of China. They are trying to help reduce poverty Brazil.

CGTN’s Lucrecia Franco reports from Rio de Janeiro.

The Mare Orchestra of Tomorrow’s elite musicians chose to play at the inauguration of their first school in one of Rio de Janeiro’s most violent shantytowns.

Mare is the name of a complex of 16 favelas, home to some 140,000 people. Military occupations and shoot-outs are common in this crime-ridden area, dominated by rival drug gangs.

“Try to help the people is a country of a bright future so that is why we selected this project,” said Cai.

The orchestra’s school is a dream come true for director Carlos Prazeres. In addition to this theatre, it will have nine acoustically-adapted classrooms for rehearsals.

“You can be sure that music touches their souls and they are able to escape drugs and violence,” said Prazeres.

Since the musical project was started by State Grid in 2011, it has expanded rapidly.

Three thousand and five hundred kids, from ages four-to-20 are involved in the project that helps them not just to develop musical skills but also focus on their futures.

Gabriel, a gifted viola player, said the orchestra gave him a profession: “It changed my life, it brought friendship, patience to study, better grades and it opened a door. I always wanted to be a musician, but I didn’t have an opportunity.”

The school cost more than $600,000 and was mostly financed by State Grid Brazil which also sponsors the orchestra`s operation. Plans now include Sunday concerts as a relief from the favela’s violence.