Many children in Brazil are living on the streets without supervision. Either their parents work in order to make a living or they are overwhelmed with their own problems in life. These are for example poverty, drug or alcohol addiction, and broken families. The children are growing up without any perspectives. In the favelas, that is the name of the Brazilian slums, are countless children that nobody is taking care of during the day. For these children social centers were set up in Ijuí and Cotia in cooperation with a few churches of Pioneira, which is the responsible Brazilian Baptist convent. These social centers are becoming places of refuge for many children and youth. There they are being taken care of, they are loved and supported.
It is always the same daily routine in the social center. The morning group starts with a breakfast, and then the teeth are being brushed. There is a time of devotion following games and studies like computers, volleyball, soccer, cooking, math tutoring, English, and music. Before they leave, they get a yummy and balanced lunch. The afternoon group has the same routine and finishes with a savory snack before the kids are going home. Often the kids that are joining the program are obviously malnourished. However, only after a few months in the social center they are looking much better.
The families are being offered medical care and if needed professional welfare as well. This way the children receive holistic help in the middle of precarious circumstances. The staff members visit the families and their children regularly at home to see the context they are living in so they can offer real help to their needs and intensify the contact. Some of the parents can hardly believe that there are people out there that want to support and help them.
The children and the families get an opportunity to hear the good news, see good values, and know a structured life. Because of the children, families often find their way to the church services where many find their spiritual home.