In 1970, Sion Solitude started maintaining the Professor Joaquim Franco Community School, located in the contemplative sisters’ neighborhood. The goal was to serve residents in situations of social vulnerability in the vicinity of the convent. Twenty years later, in the 1990s, the Casa da Paz (Peace House) was built next to the school, with the purpose of teaching handicraft to socially vulnerable students. During that time, the city expanded and the Solitude neighbourhood became a housing option for those who sought a good standard of living a few kilometres away from the heart of Curitiba. It was then, in 1997, that the Professor Joaquim Franco School was closed, to become the Colégio Sion Solitude in 1998.
To welcome each student with open arms, the school’s mission is to provide free and responsible human formation, as well as to discover and stimulate aptitudes and talents.
The activities are guided by personalised education, development of autonomy, an appropriate educational environment for the different age groups, with the teacher as a facilitator of the learning process. In this sense, Sion Solitude invests in specialised teachers and innovative methods, encouraging creativity and valuing the person. For this reason, Sion students know how to see themselves and others, and how to be vehicles for justice, compassion and harmony.
Sion Solitude uses the Montessori-Lubienska-Ramain approach that helps each student develop and build their own knowledge. The school is also associated with the Montessori Organization of Brazil (OMB), which promotes training meetings for directors who work with the method.
In its Jewish-Christian faith mission, the daily life of the school is based on the charism of Sion, which calls everyone to an attitude of commitment to the other and to God, to live as witnesses of His love for the people of Israel and, through Jesus, for all humanity. It is the teachers who have the mission of transmitting the Sion charism by transferring concepts and values that point towards a more fraternal, supportive and conscientious society. The attitudes associated with the Sion charism are welcome, discipleship, dialogue and listening.
Another concept that permeates school activities is respect for differences, showing the value in individuality and leading the student on a journey of acceptance, responsibility and fulfillment, to promote intercultural learning and education for sustainable development.
There are opportunities for experience in the field of peace and human rights, as well as with the priorities of the United Nations, central themes advocated by Unesco, which Sion Solitude has been associated with since 1998 through the Unesco-PEA schools programme.
In order to involve the students in a wide variety of social actions, several activities are carried out with charitable institutions. Among them are campaigns, sometimes held on commemorative dates, to collect food, personal hygiene products, school materials, plastic bottle tops, milk boxes. An example of this is the student participation in the group Jovens Amigos Sionenses (JAS), whose objective is to hold gatherings and carry out social actions promoted by Sion Pastoral.
These actions allow the volunteers to get to know different realities, understand the limitations and difficulties of less privileged people and get involved in solidarity projects, engaging in companionship and interaction through storytelling, music, games, playful activities and regular fund-raising campaigns.
In this way, young people grow, are transformed, leave passivity behind, and become committed to themselves and to others, in keeping with Sion’s charism and principles. Giving their time to others, regardless of age, ethnicity or beliefs, brings out respect and a critical sense, and fosters love of family, school, the environment, others, life and God.
“Respect, welcome and peace are very much present at Sion. Here I feel special and very loved.”
Mariana, 15 years old