To ensure that the unique skills and talents of every young person have the special attention and educational resources needed to grow.
The Hummingbird Model
Hummingbird Brazil´s work focuses on children and adolescents’ lives in areas with great poverty and drugs, lacking in public services within health and education as well as basic urban infrastructure. These adverse conditions create many social problems for the inhabitants, where children become the losers. Far too often the youngsters end up in the streets and are often sucked into the world of drugs, crime, violence, and, in the case of young girls, prostitution. This leads to ruined lives and human tragedies.
Our partner in Brazil is the Rede Cultural Beija- Flor, referred to as Hummingbird. Through its activities in Brazil Hummingbird has developed a model to meet the challenges in dangerous urban areas.
The Hummingbird Model is set up and developed as a holistic model for working with children and youth at risk living in dangerous urban areas marked by social problems. The programme emphasises education, social training, and personal development. Arts and aesthetics are the means utilised in the approach, leaving their imprint on the children’s surroundings.
The organisation runs four activity and community centres in São Paulo, three in Diadema in the greater metropolitan region of São Paulo and one in Itanhaém on the coast near Santos.
- The Hummingbird Nest is the main centre, with artistic and cultural activities. A series of different activities and training projects are offered, while at the same time, the centre is able to care for and inspire the children individually.
- The hummingbird Centre in Sítio Joaninha opened in 2008. It now also houses the domestic science department (training kitchen) and a vegetable garden.
- The Hummingbird Communication Centre is a communications and media centre which opened in May 2012. It contains a sound studio, a radio studio as well as facilities for IT/digital inclusion, graphic design, photo and video productions.
- The Hummingbird Centre in Itanhaém on the coast opened in 2010. Its purpose is partly to be a centre for socialising and recreation for the children in urban São Paulo as well as an activity centre for children living in the area and serves as a meeting and seminar facility.
Aesthetics and artistic expression is the core value and it characterises all the project’s centres and activities. Gregory Smith, founder of the project, had the vision all along that the arts, culture and aesthetics will empower and motivate all participants in the Hummingbird project. It strengthens creativity, builds self-confidence and allows the children to believe in themselves. It has strengthened the sense of community and given the participants a broader outlook, and the belief that it is possible to change society.
Social entrepreneurship is an important part of the Hummingbird programme. Gregory Smith is himself is a social entrepreneur. Young people are trained to become social entrepreneurs through work and research in the community to find new solutions. Young leaders work together in groups. They have created social entrepreneur projects such as the Social Eye (Olhar Social), which gives children and young people the opportunity of being trained in using social media, IT and mass communication. Another project is the Nutrition project (based on the Norwegian Domestic Science School Model), which trains children, young people and adults practical insight into the importance of a balanced and healthy diet.
PACE programme was developed by Hummbingbird and its objective is to improve family relations, school performance, solidarity and participation in society. The schooling is tailormade for each age group.
Hummingbird - Children at Risk Foundation and its founder, Gregory Smith, have received a number of important prizes.
- 1999: Gregory Smith became an “Ashoka Fellow”. Ashoka is an international organisation that promotes social entrepreneurship
- 2013: H.M. King Harald V awarded Gregory Smith “The Royal Norwegian Order of Merit” (Den Kongelige Norske Fortjensteorden)
- 2014: “World of Children Humanitarian Award” (WOCA) granted to the Hummingbird Network (Rede Cultural Beija-Flor); the first recipient in South America
- 2015 and 2016: Nominated “Best in Class” by leading Norwegian business magazine “Kapital”. The magazine evaluates and compares yearly the performance of the Non-Profit Organizations in Norway. The organization with the proportionally lowest fundraising cost receives the “Best in Class” price.