"Jim loved all things Brazilian – the rhythms of the country, the football, and the spirit of the land and people. Over the years, Jim, my daughters Tabitha and Tallulah, and I made numerous visits to the shelters that we supported from the Sao Martinho Foundation."
My husband Jim was always socially and environmentally aware, and use to express his many concerns on the environment and social injustices through his lyrics writings. I became involved in Human Rights work in the late 80’s; I was part of the team of Jubilee Action, a British charity group that was raising awareness for the underprivileged children of Brazil (my country of birth).
Jim became involved with my work very early on, and was always so enthusiastic and supportive on raising awareness to the plight of these children. His love and concern for them, appears in a song he wrote called, “Favela Music” about the life of the dwellers in the shanty towns of Rio de Janeiro, my hometown.
All of my achievements (during the Earth Summit in Rio in 1991, I took the Prime Minister John Major to visit the Sao Martinho shelter in Rio, and then later on I introduced Cherie Blair, wife of Prime Minister
Tony Blair, to our project in Rio in 2001; successfully securing funding from both governments) were inspired and encouraged by him.
Since Jim’s passing in 2005, a culture & music centre was created, and named in Jim’s honour: “The Jim Capaldi Music & Culture Centre.”
The Centre is dedicated to reach out to the vulnerable children and adolescents of Vicente de Carvalho, including the favela of Morro do Juramento. In a context of poverty and social fragility, the risks of violence, school dropout, unemployment and drug abuse are prevalent. Their participation in music workshops help express their creativity and regain a sense of empowerment and self-esteem. Playing an instrument is about expressing themselves and having a good time but also, about becoming aware of their potential, gaining autonomy and through the process of learning to play and master an instrument, learn patience and discipline.
Studies have shown that social and cultural interactions during music classes encourage the development of important life skills, such as how to relate to others and work as a team. The youths also learn to better communicate, develop their leadership skills and connect to each other. By bringing together children and adolescents from different cultures and backgrounds, it ultimately acts as a media to promote peace and mutual understanding.
Growing up in the favelas…. For many children and their families, this means living in a poor and neglected environment marked by a critical lack of public services where unemployment is rife.
The Jim Capaldi Music & Culture Centre exists to reach out to the children and adolescents in street situations and prevent risky behaviours. In an environment marked by acute urban violence, families fear for the protection of their children who are at risk of drug addiction, gang violence or teenage pregnancies.
Ultimately the Centre acts as a ‘protector’ for these children and provides them with a safe environment and sanctuary. The youths are also encouraged to borrow instruments and share their new passion with the community, also contributing and strengthening the family’s involvement and dynamic in their children’s life.
Music is an important component of Brazilian popular culture. The Centre aims to teach the youths about their country’s music and traditions, helping them develop a sense of community and feel proud of their nation.
If you want to donate or need more information, follow the link below