In 2015 I was living in a favela called Complexo do Lins, in Rio de Janeiro, and I moved from a one-bedroom to a larger home, with a spacious terrace. I decided then to open the house to anyone who wished to come interact, or use any of the things that were available in the house. The kids were the first to come. It then became a local hub, where kids from the community would get to know people from all over the world who would come visit.
It was a free space, in the sense that there were no pre-set rules of how the house should be used, everything was talked through and discussed with the ones who were present. Peaceful conversations, respect and care were highly valued. Learning activities were always stimulated, as well as the encouragement of kids to propose and run activities they were interested in. They really understood that it was a shared space and always helped care for the space and people that were there.
This project lasted for 5 years, and the house is now home to other people, but the connections and seeds of that time are still very vivid.
More information about this project can be found in this book, "Design Ecovisions: Research on Design and Sustainability In Brazil", chapter 18. Also some stories and photos can be seen on Instagram: @casalivredoaltinho.