Partner:The Methodist Church of Brazil Region 5
Describe the need affecting the community.
Brazil experienced a massive rural migration in decades past. The result of this migration to the cities was the development of slums with few social services, weakening of the family and large numbers of children and youth with little support for personal development. As a consequence drug abuse is high and there is a great deal of violence not only in the family but the community at large. Crime and prostitution are common in the society at large. Brazil has the second highest index of drug abuse and the highest consumption of cocaine. Drug related death is 5 times higher than in Mexico. In this context, parents have difficulty raising their children in a healthy fashion. Children's character and values are formed by what they see on TV and in their local communities.
How will this Advance project help to address the need?
When the project began in 2000, there were many street children and teenagers prone to get involved in drugs, crime, and prostitution. In many cities, vigilante groups that sought to clean up the street, murdered street children. At the same time, the Brazilian Methodist church had a number of local projects that worked with at risk children and teenagers, but these efforts were disperse and uncoordinated. Many other churches were concerned about the children's situation ,but didn't know how to make a positive changes. A national network of after-school programs was created in 2000. And its first goal was to unify the church's effort, and secondly to strengthen each local church program by providing common materials and regular training. This network has been very effective. Over the last 10 years, the number of projects has more than doubled, and thousands of children and teenagers are being reached. All the projects have a common vision and framework. Regular training has greatly increased the quality of each local project. Probably the most significant change has been a much clearer focus on the building of character, and values of the more than 3,000 children and teenagers involved in this network. Projects are constantly telling us of children and teenagers that were once involved in drugs. Drug trafficking that have left this activity, and many of the current educators were once part of the program. Many local churches have involved these community children in the worship activities of the church and many are now Methodist.
Describe the primary goal of the project.
Helping at-risk children and teens develop character through a national after-school network.
Describe the change you would like to see in the community as a result of this Advance project.
Each year there is monitoring of local projects. We try to identify improvement in behavior and in the school. We try to assess if the violence experienced by and sometimes practiced by children and teenager is declining. We look to see if the project develops identity and a sense of belonging
Budget and Financial Information
Annual Advance Financial Goal
Local Financial Support
Other partner churches, institutions and organizations
National committe and networking
Travel and training
Grants to local projects
Communication and support material