Many children and youth in Brazil live in poverty and are being neglected. Often they live in slums and no one is taking care of them during the day. Crime, drug trade, prostitution, and abuse are the biggest dangers for them. They live on the street without supervision because either their parents work or they are overwhelmed with their own burdens and worries.
For children like these a social center was set up in Diadema, a town close to São Paulo. The responsible churches are actively involved professionally and with all their passion.
The kids are being taken care of after school. Everyone gets a healthy meal and after there are many programs to choose from like games, sports, tutoring, music, crafts, and Bible stories. They are challenged on a cognitive, cultural, emotional, physical, and spiritual level. The kids are involved with joy and dedication.
One of the important programs is “Soccer School”. About 100 teens are so excited about it.
Young people and adults have the chance to take vocational courses at the social center. In the bakery workshops, many women take the chance to use what they have learned in order to improve the income of the family. Counseling and devotions are part of the classes. Even the carpentry offers counseling sessions besides the vocational training. Computer courses can help the young people to get better jobs and elevate their self-confidence in general.
Some offers are aimed at families and their children for them to improve their living situations. They are being invited to campaigns and seminars with special events with social and spiritual topics. The results are obvious. Parents learn to appreciate their children. Relationships among family members and communities are being strengthened. This creates a big change. The children are going to school more regularly. Family disputes are being dealt with in a positive manner. Dangers for the kids decreases. The parents are grateful for the change that shows in their children.
About half of the baptized members of the church are families from the social center where they also meet.