The Foundation

Paying back 

"Books have given me so much since I was 7 years old, when the famous writer Monteiro Lobato turned me into a passionate reader! Ever after, at nights of insomnia, at times of sorrow and on days of peace and joie de vivre, it was just a matter of looking and there He was, nearby. In addition, as if companionship was not enough, the Book made it possible for me to pay my bills each month… Am I not right, having received so much, to want to pay back my Companion?"

The prize ALMA (Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award) was the final big push enabling Lygia to provide the "paying back".

Lygia recebendo o Prêmio ALMA (Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award), em maio de 2004

Lygia Bojunga receiving the prize from the hands of H.R.H. Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden (Stockholm, 26th of May 2004).

The beginning

The Cultural Foundation Casa Lygia Bojunga was inaugurated in June 2006. The office, located in the district of Santa Teresa, Rio de Janeiro, is alongside the house where Lygia has lived for many years. The expanded complex provides space for a Publishing House, developed by Lygia for the numerous characters in her books, and also a Cultural Foundation to assist projects related to books.

The Foundation does not depend upon charity or patronage but upon funds from the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (the literary prize granted by Sweden in recognition of Lygia's books) and from profits of the Publishing House Casa Lygia Bojunga.


The 7 projects of
the Cultural Foundation
Casa Lygia Bojunga



1. "Paiol de histórias" (Storehouse for stories)

This is the name of the project with which the Cultural Foundation was inaugurated. The "Paiol" is located on a small farm called "Boa Liga" ("Happy Union"), situated in the mountainous region of the State of Rio de Janeiro. Three times a week some 30 children and adolescents from low waged families meet in "Boa Liga". There, in close proximity with Nature and with the assistance of story-telling, readings, and dramatizations of tales from books, they are provided with the opportunity of learning for themselves how books can stimulate the imagination. Every fortnight a day is allocated for "seeing the world": excursions to Petrópolis, Rio, or to some nearby museums, historic centres, libraries, literary events, or the children/adolescents present an artistic activity prepared in "Paiol" to a school or cultural center. Periodically, families of the group in "Paiol" are invited to "Boa Liga" to discuss matters of common interest.



2. "Mini libraries"

This project started in the early days of the Cultural Foundation Casa Lygia Bojunga. The Foundation contributes some dozens of books each month (a maximum of fifty) to institutions and/or persons establishing a new library, or to a library already in existence. The applicants submit a list of books required to the Foundation for analysis. So far the vast majority of requests have been met in their entirety.


3. "Support those supporting books"

Funds from the Foundation go to support projects which are encouraging people to read. These contributions (some monthly, others intermittent) are allocated not only to well established entities such as the Fundação Nacional do Livro Infantil e Juvenil (The Brazilian section of IBBY) but also to small or newly formed projects promoting reading in low waged communities.


4. "Scholarships"

This project attempts to give encouragement to those who are showing a genuine interest in books within the activities of Casa Lygia Bojunga. A scholarship is awarded to these interested parties which pays their school or faculty fees and also the cost of the books necessary for their studies.



5. "Trees and their companions"

Planting trees was part of Lygia's life long before the advent of the Cultural Foundation. Today most of "Boa Liga" is covered with the forest preserved and extended over the years. Now, the Foundation has launched a new (small) project: finding companions for the next trees to be planted.



"I have always enjoyed sitting on a bench in the shade of a tree. To read, to think, to cuddle, to rest. Wherever I've lived I've tried to find a nearby place with a tree with a companion for her: a bench. In my excursions "around here" what a lovely (and not so frequent…) moment it was when I'd find - waiting for me - a tree casting it's shadow over a nearby bench. I would like to give to some more people the opportunity for such a good encounter: a bench under the shade of a lovely tree, where they can sit to read, to think, to cuddle, to…"



6. "A meeting with Boa Liga"

It is an expansion of the project "Paiol de Histórias". In addition to the theatre workshops, now a permanent part of the activities, plans are being developed for the making and recycling of paper, organized visits by teachers, environmentalists and people involved with books, not only to exchange ideas but, as well, to develop new workshops and debates in "Paiol". Visits under the expanded project will be named: "A meeting with Boa Liga". The visits may be of some hours, or a day, or more duration.


7. "A new niche for Santa"



"It is not rare for me to speak or to write about Santa Teresa - known to its admirers as Santa. This old district of Rio which has hidden away so many delightful niches built or preserved by those who loved (and many who still love) the cobble stone streets, the brilliant views from the heights, the sound of trams on their rails, the slopes and quiet lanes, and the unique atmosphere (a mixture of seclusion/artistry/a small town in the interior) which, in spite of being polluted by the violence spreading in the city, continues to exist in Santa. 

Not long ago I began to create a new niche for Santa: a space which a friend baptized as "Lygia's Santa". The objective of the project is to create (in a small way) an environment of what Santa was and is for me. Beginning with the time when I first encountered Santa, as a nineteen year old actress in a local theatre (Teatro Duse), and moving on to the Santa which one day Peter and I discovered as a place to live, then on to the Santa of today, when the house I've lived in for so many years has evolved into a Publishing House and a Cultural Foundation."


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