The Arsenal of Hope was founded in 1996 in São Paulo of Brazil, within the building that once housed the Hospedaria dos Imigrantes. From 1886 since the 1950s, it was a reception centre for millions of people coming from all around the world (almost a million of which were Italians). They stayed in isolation in that “House of Sorrow” for forty days before reaching the plantations of coffee and cotton to work there in place of the slaves.
The story of the Arsenal of Hope is part of a wider project that began thanks to Dom Helder Camara and Dom Luciano Mendes de Almeida, two great masters who helped promoting hundreds of interventions and development projects, especially for children, in different regions of Brazil.
To manage these activities, the ASSINDES (International Associations for Development) were established. Since 1990, the human and spiritual values we share with our friends from the ASSINDES of São Paulo provided the basis for the project of the Arsenal of Hope, which began thanks to some people from the Brotherhood of Hope who moved to Brazil.
The story of the Arsenal of Hope
It once was a “House of Sorrow”, used to put into isolation European immigrants. Since 1996, it is a shelter for thousands of people coming from the streets, in which to recover their dignity. It is a place in which we try to overcome the distance between those who welcome and those who are welcomed, in which receiving free help is not humiliating, but it actually reawakens the inherent potentialities of each individual.