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onde atuamos

Since 2007, Casa do Jardim has been serving the community of Jardim Canada, situated in the municipality of Nova Lima, on the outskirts of Belo Horizonte, in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. It is a community of approximately 10,000 inhabitants and it is located in a region that is rich in natural resources, with the largest economic and population growth in the metropolitan region of Belo Horizonte.

In the last 20 years (1991-2011), data indicate that the population of Jardim Canada has increased 1,318%. According to information accessed on the site of the Municipality of Nova Lima, 20% of the local population receives federal and/or municipal subsidies, indicating that close to ¼ of the population of Jardim Canada is living in a situation of economic vulnerability.

The significant, disorderly growth of the region has overwhelmed a fragile, local infrastructure which is limited and, at times, absent. While being considered a safe neighbourhood, the internal social inequalities are causing marginalization of the poorest sectors, resulting in violence and drug-trafficking.

While Jardim Canada can be considered by some as a growing industrial center with a population at risk of marginalization, it can also be seen as a community in development. A place where...

  • culture and local identity need to be strengthened.
  • quality of education for children and youth must be improved.
  • public spaces for recreation, culture and sport must be prioritized.

Through research conducted in 2011 by the Institute for Local Integrated Development Casa do Jardim in partnership with Fundação Dom Cabral, we identified that the population of Jardim Canada is young, with children, youth and adults between birth and 39 years representing about 77% of the population: 37% between birth and 19 years and 40% between 20 and 39 years.

In the last 20 years (1991-2011), data indicate that the population of Jardim Canada has increased 1,318%. Data also indicate that the number of companies operating in Jardim Canada has increased 31.2% over the past 10 years. However, through informal interviews, local business owners have revealed that one of the greatest challenges for companies in Jardim Canada is finding competent local professionals. This lack of qualified local workers is evidenced by the experience of the Verdemar Supermarket which buses in some of its employees from Itabirito every day.

According to information accessed on the site of the Municipality of Nova Lima, 20% of the local population receives federal and/or municipal subsidies, indicating that close to ¼ of the population of Jardim Canada is living in a situation of economic vulnerability.

The services offered to families and children in the areas of education and social assistance (such as schools, psychologists, social workers) are not yet sufficient for the size of the population. When the principals of the two public schools were interviewed, they reported that the lack of support in health services and social assistance has made the work of teachers more difficult as they rely on them to improve the quality of education, particularly for children at risk. Teachers and students also mentioned that the size of the existing schools and annexes in relation to the number of students is inadequate and imbalanced.

The fact that there are local initiatives offering school support and complementary education programs speaks to the limitations of the public education system to offer effective, in-school pedagogical intervention for students with social and academic challenges. Our informal conversations with parents show how families feel obliged to seek extracurricular school support to ensure academic success for their children. Furthermore, schools often suggest that parents look for help, recognizing their limitations in offering adequate pedagogical assistance.


Instituto de Desenvolvimento Local Integrado - Casa do Jardim
Rua Walpoli, 126 | Jardim Canadá, Nova Lima
Minas Gerais, Brasil | CEP 34.000-000
+55 31 3541.8934 | contato@casadojardim.org.br