Visits to Portugal
In January, regional coordinator Silmara Meireles, from PfC’s Brazilian partner ASEC, attended the third International Conference on Childhood and Adolescence in the city of Porto in Portugal. Silmara presented the positive results of the Zippy’s Friends programme in the city of Jundiaí in 2018, for approximately 2,700 participating children. The results were collected through questionnaires answered by parents and teachers. This was also a happy opportunity for Silmara to meet Ana Álvares and Fernando Couto, from the management team of Escutar, PfC’s partner in Portugal. From chatting and sharing experiences they found that these Portuguese-speaking countries have a lot in common!
It’s now three years since Escutar set up Amigos do Ziki, so Caroline went to meet Ana and Fernando to see how the programme was developing. Despite challenges such as falling school rolls (Portugal has the lowest birth rate in Europe) and resistance to new programmes from some older teachers, they have made great progress. They offer the Inclusion Supplement to include children and young people with special needs, and are already running ‘Zippy at Home’ meetings with parents. Caroline saw two lively classes and met some of the very committed people who are supporting the programme there, as well as enjoying some delicious Portuguese food (thank you, Ana!).
PS It’s called ‘Amigos do Ziki’ because the name ‘Amigos do Zippy’ was already taken by a chain of children’s clothes shops!
Left to right: At Abrantes Town Hall, Alcino Hermínio (school principal), Fernando Couto (Director, Escutar), Caroline Egar, Alexandrina Salgueiro (special needs manager), Fátima Pereira da Silva (Zippy teacher) and Ana Álvares (Coordinator, Escutar)