Day 6
A meal for an underprivileged child in Brazil

Assistance to day-care centres in the favelas

Support for children in the slums of Rio de Janeiro

Maria Clara struggles up the hill. Wherever she puts her tiny feet in the colourful flip-flops are rocks, mud and rubbish. Every weekday at just before seven her mother takes the two-year-old by the hand to make her way to the day-care centre. Many children make that way up the hill at that hour – accompanied by their parents or elder siblings. Those that have no one to take them simply cannot go. The way is just too arduous and dangerous. Not only because they might slip and fall, but also because the day-care centre Pintinho Dourado is located in the Complexo 18, a favela in northern Rio de Janeiro. It is not one of the pacified areas: Police and drug gangs regularly have shootouts here, as witnessed by the bullet holes in the wall of the day-care centre. In case of a gun fight, the children have to hide in the centre’s pantry – the safest part of the building.

Necessity

 

Daily meals for children in Brazilian slums.

Activity

 

Providing basic foods baskets to poor families as well as regular meals to children and young people in day-care and youth centres.

Countable effort

After around 12 months

Number of girls and boys that are provided with a daily meal.

Result

After around 3 years

Healthy development as well as increased concentration and performance for the children.

Systemic effect

After around 7 years

Improved educational and career prospects for the children.

Background

Historically, income inequality and a high degree of poverty have been problems in Brazil. The country still faces the challenge of overcoming this historical legacy of social injustice. Ten per cent of the population in the state of Rio de Janeiro is living in the so called ‘favelas’. Children living in the slums of Rio not only are in constant danger (from neglect, armed conflict, drug trade, violence), but they also often suffer from hunger. Almost 700,000 families in the state of Rio de Janeiro rely on state support (known as ‘bolsa família’), which is available to families with an income per head of less than 85 reales (approx. 25 euros) per month. Often, especially for single mothers, these payments are the only source of income. Without regular employment there usually not enough income to ensure a daily meal for the children.

The good deed

Our day-care centres offer a safe environment for children. They are provided with a healthy meal and clean drinking water every day. In spite of their difficult living conditions, this allows them to develop in a healthy way even from early childhood. After school, primary school children attend the child and youth centres, where they take advantage of extra tutoring and remedial education as well as a variety of courses. In order to even be able to focus on learning, again a daily meal is integral to the support. If girl or boys live in extreme poverty, their families are further supported with a basket of basic foods.

About Brazil

Brasilia

Capital

207 652 900

Number of inhabitants

8 727

Gross domestic product per capita per year

79

Human Development Index

Brazil is world leader when it comes to social inequality. In terms of income, the average difference between poor and rich citizens is 39.7 per cent.