Culture invades Babilônia

Tuesday, May 31, 2021

by Prscila Piffer


Last Friday (27/05) morning the Fransisco Paes Beltrame Room was inaugurated at a middle school run by the Resident’s Association at the pacified community of Babilônia, Rio’s south zone. The idea of making homage to the Security Secretary’s son came from the residents. “The idea came up in one of the Association’s meetings and everyone agreed. It’s the least we can do after all that he’s done for our community. The UPP has changes our lives,”  said Percília da Silva Pereira, 72, who has been living in the community for 63 years and works as volunteer.

The honored, who is still a baby, cannot thank the community in his own words, but was all smiles during the inauguration ceremony. His mother and wife of José Mariano Beltrame, Rio’s Security Secretary, said that she was very touched when she saw her son’s name on the little plaque hanging on the door. “Fransisco’s name is there as an acknowledgement for his father’s work. The police came to guarantee security, and it makes me so happy that the people are organizing themselves and doing such great things. This is the future we want for our children, a future where everyone has equal chances and where everyone is safe. One day Fransisco is going to come here and understand how this is important for the residents of Babilônia and also for us.

Inside the cultural room, children will have computer skills and guitar lessons with two UPP officers. Soldier Sandro Macedo, 34, has been teaching computer skills for kids ranging from 7 to 12 years old. He told us that now, with the new room, they will be more comfortable, and more children will be able to join. He volunteered himself when the commander of Babilônia’s UPP, Captain Felipe Magalhães, asked who would like to teach the residents how to use the computer. Now he has 40 pupils, and the classes are every Monday and Wednesday in the morning and in the afternoon.

Soldier Fábio Cunha, 29, is a professional musician and has been teaching the kids how to play the guitar for over a year. “It’s a great joy to teach these people. Before I became a cop, I used to teach private lessons, but my pupils weren’t as dedicated as these ones are. It’s so gratifying,” he added. The soldier has 20 guitars at his disposal to teach the children. Ten are lent to students who cannot afford to buy one, so that they can practice at home, and the other ten stay in the room for the classes. Classes are on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the morning and in the afternoon. There are currently 25 students, mostly children, from 8 years old onwards, but one of the classes has a youthful 60-year-old. With the inauguration of the new room, the teachers hope that the classes will be always full.