Group pic of Urban95 Convening Recife
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HomeStoriesUrban95 Brazil Convening 2024

Urban95 Brazil Convening 2024

Cities across Brazil commit to long-lasting public policies for early childhood

Group pic of Urban95 Convening Recife

Ensuring permanent public policies for babies, children and caregivers that last despite possible changes in leadership: this was the central discussion of the Urban95 Convening in April 2024, in Recife, Brazil. The event brought together mayors, deputy mayors, secretaries, technical city teams, and technical partners to celebrate the achievements of municipalities and consolidate their commitment to the continuity of public policies for early childhood.

In a lively procession to the sound of frevo accompanied by giant Olinda dolls, the Urban95 delegation arrived at the Paço do Frevo on the 21 April for the official opening of the meeting, where they were welcomed by the Mayor of Recife, João Campos, Deputy Mayor Isabella de Roldão, Secretary of Education Fred Amâncio, and Executive Secretary for Early Childhood, Luciana Lima.

In an opening speech, Van Leer Brazil Representative Claudia Vidigal listed the challenges faced by early childhood in Brazil – such as the epidemic of screens and the decrease in vaccination coverage – and commented on the need to expand the implementation of Urban95 concepts.

“We want to open this circle and transform cities that have consolidated early childhood policies into references of good practices for other municipalities across Brazil.”

~ Claudia Vidigal

Meeting of city leaders

On the second day of the meeting, the Mayor of Recife, João Campos, received the mayors and vice mayors at the city hall for a morning of exchanges. The focus of discussion was around the responsibility of municipalities in the sustainability of public policies for early childhood and the role of Urban95 in spreading the agenda across the country.
The meeting was attended by:

  • Arthur Henrique, Mayor of Boa Vista
  • Caio Cunha, Mayor of Mogi das Cruzes
  • Luiz Fernando Machado, Mayor of Jundiaí
  • Paula Mascarenhas, Mayor of Pelotas
  • Luziane Solon, Mayor of Benevides
  • Sandro Herrmann, Mayor of Colinas
  • Dalmy Crisóstomo da Silva, Mayor of Alcinópolis
  • Débora Prado, Mayor of Jarinu
  • Zé Ailton Brasil, Mayor of Crato
  • Isabella de Roldão, Vice Mayor of Recife
  • Élcio Batista, Vice Mayor of Fortaleza
  • Claudia Vidigal, Van Leer Brazil Representative
  • Gilberto França, representing the Mayor of Alfenas
  • Ivanete Herrmann, First Lady of Colinas
  • Marcelo Peroni, Culture Manager of Jundiaí
  • Thiago Ferrari, Coordinator of Early Childhood Campineira in Campinas
  • Fred Amâncio, Secretary of Education of Recife
  • Fernando Padula, Secretary of Education of São Paulo
  • Ana Rita Suassuna, Secretary of Social Development and Human Rights of Recife
  • Glauce Medeiros, Secretary of the Women’s Office of Recife
  • Adalice Pinheiro, First lady of Crato
Photo courtesy of Beatriz Bley

Technical visits and network exchanges

While the city leaders met at city hall, the technical teams toured different territories of the capital of Pernambuco to get a closer look at the equipment and programmes aimed at babies, young children and caregivers. First, they visited the Compaz Miguel Arraes Complex, (where they met Compaz himself), then the Early Childhood Reference Center, a bebeteca (baby library), the sensory paths of the CMEI Alcides Tedesco Restelli, and the Compaz Childhood Square.

At the Early Childhood Reference Center, the teams were introduced to Mãe Coruja Recife – an intersectoral programme that accompanies families from pregnancy – and experienced care rooms and play spaces. After, the delegation went to Praça da Encruzilhada, a space with furniture and toys designed for early childhood, where they also visited the Itinerant Laboratory for Early Childhood Training.

The next part of the day was spent strengthening bonds. Gathered at the Moinho Recife Convention Center, participants discussed in small groups the opportunities and challenges they see to consolidate the early childhood agenda. Although each municipality has their own character and agenda, the groups were unanimous: the main concern is to systematise advances already achieved and prepare technical teams for government transition periods.

To close the day, city representatives and technical partners presented publications that systematise projects, as well as materials that can be used in the day-to-day of early childhood services.

Wrapping up the Urban95 convening

On the final day of the convening, community leaders from Buraco da Gata – a community on the outskirts of Recife – received the delegation and presented the urban innovations of the “More Life in the Hills” programme, which include playful paintings, court renovations and play spaces. The last technical visit took place at Compaz Paulo Freire, where participants discovered the urban interventions of the Safe Childhood Route project, carried out with the technical partner Estudio+1, which made the surroundings of the equipment more playful and safer, in addition to the bebeteca (baby library) and other services offered by Compaz.

The Urban95 Convening came to a close at Compaz with a special announcement: the launch of the “Daddy is Here” toolbox, a new initiative by Pé de Infância to encourage active fatherhood. Thamires Pedra Rica – representative of Allma Hub, Urban95’s technical partner responsible for the project – illustrated how the campaign works, which will first be implemented in Recife by the municipal civil guard team, who play a crucial role in disseminating good paternity practices.

Looking ahead to next year

Photo courtesy of Marlon Diego/Municipality of Recife

The Urban95 Convening for 2025 will take place in Fortaleza, where representatives of Urban95 implementing cities will gather. This commitment was signed by Vice Mayor Élcio Batista alongside Angélica Leal, Secretary of the Special Coordination of Early Childhood, and Larissa Menescal, President of Iplanfor.