Helping at-risk children and teens develop character through a national after-school network
Annual Goal: $100,000.00
Year to Date Gifts: $5,330.50
Describe the need affecting 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 system and large numbers of children and youth with little support for personal development. Lack of employment opportunities for parents and educational opportunities for children have forced a large number of children in these communities into at risk situations on the streets where they come face to face with violence, drugs, prostitution, and child labor on a daily basis. In the 1980’s and 90’s, vigilante groups that sought to clean up the streets simply murdered street children as an attempt to solve the problem. Crime related to drug trafficking is also prominent and Brazil currently has the 4th highest imprisoned population in the world. Recent studies indicate that Brazil has the highest rate of consumption of crack in the world, along with the second highest rate of cocaine-use worldwide. Lack of resources for these marginalized communities to invest in socio-educational programming for their children has led to a growing disparity in terms of long term educational and job opportunities in comparison with children from middle and upper class families. 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?
Shade and Fresh Water was born in 2000 in an effort to help the Brazilian Methodist Church unify and coordinate its social programming with children, provide materials for local churches and train those working with children. Over the past 18 years, Shade and Fresh Water has grown to approximately 60 projects, currently serves over 3,000 children and youth and counts on the support of over 2,000 volunteers around the country. Each project has a common vision of providing a place for children to experience the kingdom of God and feel loved, respected and welcomed. It is a place where they learn, develop and exercise kingdom values (love, justice, grace, community, etc.). Shade and Fresh Water programming is based fundamentally on Christian Education, Educational Support, and Sports and Recreation. Other complementary classes can include holistic health, arts, citizenship and digital integration. All activities are aimed at providing children opportunities to grow in their faith, develop personal agency, succeed academically and experience new opportunities that inspire them and encourage them to grow into the people that God created them to be. Over the past 18 years, we have seen innumerous lives transformed, hundreds of children who have grown up to pursue educational dreams and countless children who are now serving as educators for the next generation of children in our projects today. Shade and Fresh Water works with the families of children to develop a more holistic strategy and also works within the context of local Methodist churches to provide a long term spiritual care and community for our families.
Describe the primary goal of the project
Our primary goal is to help at-risk children and teens develop Christian character, kingdom values and facilitate their experience of abundant life through a national after-school network of activities and programs.
Describe the change you would like to see in the community as a result of this Advance project
We would like to see a community where lives are transformed, families can thrive, violence, crime and drug trafficking is drastically reduced, and children and adults alike can actively participate in making their community what they want it to be.