Child’s play in the Morungaba square, participation in social projects, interaction with children of different backgrounds…
After a long gestation period, bringing together life experiences with theoretical and practical knowledge in the areas of speech therapy, education, and dance, Renata Macedo Soares, in 1989, managed to group the elements that made Morungaba possible.
It was then that Morungaba revealed itself as a life form, an ideal of transcending barriers and revealing people.
Since its beginning, Morungaba has been dancing with children and people with disabilities at its headquarters in the Pinheiros district in São Paulo, Brazil.
In 1991, a dance project began at FEBEM – (State Foundation for the Well Being of Minors) of the Department of Youth of the State of São Paulo, whose goal was to survey the living conditions of children with disabilities, and to recover, through dance/movement, the individuals who felt like outcasts, unmotivated and lacking identity, providing them with opportunities to understand and express themselves. This program was carried out from December 1991 to June 1992.
Dance/art of movement was also the basis of projects aimed toward the visually impaired, such as those carried out at Laramara – Brazilian Association for the Visually Impaired and at the Braille Library at the São Paulo Cultural Center from 1993 to 1999. Still in the 90’s, a volunteer action at the São Paulo Cultural Center was put into practice, with children and adolescents in foster care, students from public schools, or part of the homeless worker’s movement.
At the Ibirapuera Park Center for Sociability and Cooperation, work was carried out through dance with children living in the Jardim Miriam shanty town, adults with a history of mental problems, people with learning disabilities, and other users of the park. This action was supported by psychology interns from PUC/SP and occupational therapy interns from the University of São Paulo (USP).
At the Morungaba Headquarters, dance and arts acted as a tool for the self-awareness and self-expression of people with physical, sensorial, and/or learning disabilities.
In 1996 and 1997, Morungaba implemented and supervised the Children’s Dance Project in six daycares maintained by Cruzada Pró Infância.
In 2000, there was an interest in broadening the social action, and to this end, Associação Morungaba was created, a non-governmental organization that took on the responsibility of the social projects until the year 2015. It was a period of significant growth, which came to serve 20,000 cases per month with a team of 200 educators, coordinators, and interns.
Following the path of respect for differences and democratizing dance and arts, Morungaba worked with people from diverse social strata.
Throughout all these years, Morungaba has been practicing the ideal of human appreciation and sociability, always thinking about the paths ahead.