In the bottom it says: With stories from reporter Alessandra Freitas
Name: Jessyca Araujo, Fagner Silva and Juliana Niel | Profession: students | Transforming attitude: Stage theatrical performances in the capital's orphanages
In 2004, at the age of 11, student Jessyca Araujo attended in her college an exhibition of the movie Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, the second episode of the famous franchise, and fell in love with the universe created by the English writer J.K. Rowling. In the following years, she followed the release of the other chapters of the movies, bought all the books of the series and participated in several fan conventions. Today, at the age of 21, she has accumulated so much knowledge about the subject that she could lecture on magic. Her relationship with the saga would change in 2012, when she met the project Potter in Orphanages, created in Rio de Janeiro by the writer Renata Ventura. As the name already explains, the goal is to stage passages of the wizard story in nursery homes. With the help of other volunteers who she gathered on social networks, Jessyca became the main organizer of the initiative in the Paulista capital. The rehearsals began on September 1, 2013 (the choice was purposeful: this is the start date for classes at the Hogwarts Castle). Eight months later, the group began to make the first presentations.
The inspiration for the type of establishment chosen as the focus of the action comes from the protagonist himself, who lost his parents as a child. "Every orphan has a bit of Harry Potter," says the project slogan, which has about 700 members registered in São Paulo and is maintained only with donations from the participants themselves. Success among the little ones, the trick here has no mystery: just put on the costume, wield the magic wand and perform a few chapters of the series to bewitch the audience. Other objects in the plot, such as the selector hat and the chocolate frogs, are also used (see more details in the table below). Presentations usually take place on Sundays and last for three hours: at the end, fan-collected books are donated to orphanages. "It's gratifying to encourage the habit of reading through the stories of Harry Potter," says Jessyca, a student in the visual communication course at the State Technical School (Etec) in Carapicuiba. "These children don't need pity, they just need attention," she adds.
Another protagonist of the movement is the student Fagner Silva, 22, who lost his mother the age of 11. He has been away from his father for some years and now lives with his sister, his wedlock, and his nephew. "Books have been my friends for a long time, so passing that on is very good," he says. An active member, and one of the youngest ones, 15-year-old Juliana Niel organizes wizard gatherings at geek conventions, such as Anime Friends, and participates in the presentations from the beginning of the project. The group has already promoted twenty visits to two places: the Curumin Institute in Mandaqui and the Amparo House Tia Marly in Santana. Together, they house 41 children, between 1 and 17 years old. The initiative impacted a girl from this second space, still illiterate at age nine. After the visits, she was delighted with the subject, flipped through the books and managed to put together syllables. "Her dream is to learn how to read and tell the story to someone," says Marly Correa do Nascimento, who is responsible for the institution in Santana. "Everything that involves art and literature is important to them," she adds. Not everyone thinks so: although Harry Potter's popularity is almost universal, some orphanages have rejected the shows. "It was to avoid exposing children to issues such as witchcraft," says Jessyca, slightly incredulous.
Like at Hogwarts
Some of the objects used by the project during the meetings
> Sorting hat: helps to simulate the scene in which students are distributed through the houses - Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Slytherin and Ravenclaw
> Harry Potter Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans: reproduce the famous recurring sweet in the saga, worshiped by the wizards
> Tie: each child receives one, which represents the house for which they were "selected" by the hat
> Books: collected during fans encounters and conventions, they are donated to orphanages to encourage the habit of reading
> Chocolate frogs: sweets are accompanied by images of the most famous wizards in history
> Magic Wand: replica used in movies, is used to stage passages from the book Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone