Since 1996, MSMC serves, listens, offers therapeutic attention and exposes people in the greater Bom Jardim area to new possibilities, overcoming their internalized poverty. By uniting popular, community and scientific knowledge through social practices that promote self-actualization, MSMC collectively constructs the Community Systemic Approach (Abordagem Sistêmica Comunitária, ASC). This is a multiple impact therapeutic approach that addresses the whole human being, connecting the community, environment and the transcendent in a responsible and transformative manner. This new social technology identifies communities that exhibit psychological suffering, addiction, existential fragility and general powerlessness, and responds with therapeutic exercises to empower the members of those communities and help them develop the processes necessary to improve their quality of life. 

Summary of relevant work: 

Self-Esteem Therapy: Since its founding,  MSMC has been implementing its pioneering model for boosting self-esteem in children, adolescents and adults. Self-Esteem Therapy develops intrapersonal and interpersonal communication by strengthening an individual's autonomy, dignity, and wisdom, which promotes active citizenship. At MSMC, we believe that truly awakening a person’s self-esteem is to support them to develop new skills to care for themselves, to assume their rightful place within the family, become an empowered and engaged member of society, and to positively transform their relationship with Mother Earth. Through various techniques, dynamics and complementary therapies, each participant improves their self-esteem, awakening their creative and participatory potential.

Community Therapy: This is the gateway to MSMC, through which people are welcomed and share their difficulties and joys. In community therapy groups participants collectively develop the skills to better manage and solve their problems by assuming the role of a true protagonist in their lives. The community therapy groups encourage participants to assume their proper place in the construction of a more just and united society. This form of therapy is based on the principle of circularity, in which there are no victims and no perpetrators because everyone shares responsibility. Today, there is a network of community therapy groups that serves thousands of people every month throughout Brazil. MSMC developed Community Therapy at the time of its founding in 1996 in the Basic Ecclesial Community of the greater Bom Jardim area. Since 2004, MSMC has been a certified training center for new therapists as a member of the Brazilian Association of Community Therapy (Abratecom).

Yes to Life Project: The Yes to Life Project serves at-risk children by preventing their initial exposure to drugs, violence, and human rights violations and developing their sense of agency as citizens. Children and adolescents are regarded as respected individuals with innate rights. This project offers opportunities for youth to stimulate their multiple intelligences through involvement in arts, sports, and leisure activities. The Yes to Life Project encourages the full development of each person’s bio-psycho-social-spiritual dimensions. It also strengthens family and community bonds by  inviting children, parents, and relatives alike to be involved with community groups, especially those related to health, education, and professionalization training, such as the new culinary arts school and the tailoring courses offered by the MSMC.

The Yes to Life Project has been widely recognized for its impact, including by the National Anti-Drugs Bureau (SENAD) Valuing Life Award (2007), the Municipal Government of Fortaleza Child and Adolescent Benefactor Commendation (2001 & 2010), and received honorable mention from the Queen of Sweden. The European Union, the CBM International Mission, and Federal University of Ceará (UFC) are valued partners of this project.

Bom Jardim Community Center for Psycho-Social Assistance (CAPS): CAPS is a landmark therapeutic day hospital offering treatment for people with severe psychiatric problems and support for their families. Developed as an alternative to psychiatric hospitalization, CAPS’ objective is to promote care and social reintegration, offering patients a range of personalized community and life-promoting activities.

Therapeutic Residence: Since 2011, MSMC has mentored psychiatric hospital patients who have been institutionalized for at least three years and have no contact with their families. Residents are welcomed into a new home where, with the support of community caregivers who are certified in the Community Systemic Approach, they find the opportunity to make ties and form friendships with their caregivers, their neighbors and the community at large. The residence offers its members care through various therapeutic activities, which encourage them to realize that it is possible to reconnect with their social and cultural reality and become integrated into their community. The Therapeutic Residence is also co-managed by MSMC and the Municipal Bureau of Health of Fortaleza.

The Bishop Franco Masserdotti AME House: AME House (Art, Music, and Performance) welcomes those with a penchant for creative forms of expression. In 2008, AME House was designated by the Brazilian Federal Ministry of Culture as a Cultural Landmark. The House includes the Knowledge Exchange Reading Hub (Troca de Saberes) and provides the Bom Jardim community a dynamic space for meeting, listening, citizenship, leisure and culture. Workshops on handicrafts, typing, guitar, drums, piano, flute, percussion, violin, organic cardmaking, painting, mosaics, theater, cinema, and audiovisual tools are regularly offered. AME House offers art therapy to members of the greater Fortaleza region, as well as the Bom Jardim Community CAPS Program. The objective of the AME House is to expand community members´ multiple intelligences and increase their sense of agency and self-esteem through the development of marketable skills .

Community Garden: The Community Garden offers the community contact with the earth, reviving its cultural roots, stimulating the communion between nature and humans and providing a transformative pedagogical perspective. This program builds upon the community’s existing knowledge of farming and gardening in order to teach all members of the community the skills needed to take care of the earth. At the Garden, the community and CAPS members engage in occupational therapy activities and Live Pharmacy (Farmácia Viva), in which they produce medicinal syrups, soaps and shampoos. Fruits, vegetables, greenery, and medicinal and ornamental plants are cultivated. Horticulture promotes ecophilia, strengthening the bond between humans and nature.  

Culinary Arts School: The Self-Sustainable Culinary Arts School trains community members as professional chefs, furthering the MSMC´s mission of creating opportunities for socio-economic inclusion and the development of multiple intelligences for community members. The Culinary Arts School utilizes the alternative energy sources, such as solar and water power, to sustain the agroecological production of organic vegetables, fruits, poultry, fish, and eggs.

Address: 

Rua Dr. Fernando Augusto,

609. Bom Jardim. Fortaleza. Ceará. Brasil

CEP 60540-260 

Telephone: 
55(85) 3497.0892
Seeking collaboration with: 
Other organizations
Experts by experience/service users
Researchers
Policy makers
Country: 
Brazil

Innovations and resources

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Community Systemic Approach (Abordagem Sistêmica Comunitária)

A methodology to strengthen communities, by addressing the bio-psycho-social-spiritual dimensions of individuals.
Region: 
South America
Population: 
Children and adolescents
Older adults
Families and carers
Minority populations
Disorder: 
All disorders