How did the initiative Pro Juventute Bahia get started?
The impetus was Ute Craemer’s diary “Favela Children”, published by Geistesleben, and was preceded in 2003 by the visit to the Favela Monte Azul / São Paulo / Brazil by Wolfgang Knipping, a retired anthroposophic physician.
It is this novel ideal behind Ute Craemer’s concept of future developmental aid: changing the conditions in impoverished countries does not mean utopian requirements from the State and society, but instead asks for the transformation of the individual who becomes aware of his creative gifts and thus learns to apply them in ever greater measure.” (Reutlinger Generalanzeiger).
In 2007, Doris and Wolfgang Knipping decided to be part of this concept of a new Waldorf initiative in the arid Sertão of Bahia in Várzea da Roça , which is an area plagued by rural migration to the cities. The Brazilian school administration, Associação Pedagógica Waldorf Várzea da Roça  was founded with 15 local teachers. In future years it was supposed to take over administration of the entire project. Initially the organization was supported by its own German association that collected donations for a step by step growth.
In 2010, the “Friends of the Educational Art of Rudolf Steiner” were so kind as to take over the administration of donations. Since the project is located in the rural Várzea da Roça, we are concerned not only with establishing a school with kindergarten and the activities associated with those, but we also want to offer educational opportunities for adolescents and adults. Depending on what is available to us, we, therefore, offer the following in the “Centro Waldorf Várzea da Roça” – lectures and courses for continuing education in pedagogy, medicine, agriculture, language courses, musical (instrumental) training, artistic activities, Capoeira – and dance classes. During holidays and, as tradition dictates, we invite the families of the town to participate in our celebrations.