Children from the poorest areas of northeastern Brazil live an unsupervised and dangerous life. These communities are called “favelas” and they exist in places where no one else would go, if they had a choice. Crime, drugs, prostitution, and hopelessness dominate life in the favela and the life story for many of these children involves pain, loss, and tragedy. Most of them do not have involved fathers and they are raised by young mothers or older women in their family. Without an education or meaningful job opportunities, they are trapped in a vicious cycle of poverty and limited choices.
VFC strategically placed Kid’s Place in the Coque community because it was the largest, most violent favela in Recife and we wanted to tackle the biggest need. Kid’s Place is not an orphanage; rather, it is a before/after school program for children ages 5-18, where they can have fellowship in a structured and secure environment. We want Kid’s Place to be a safe haven in the community.
Theyoungerchildrencomeinthemorningandgotoschoolinthe afternoon. The older kids/teenagers come in the afternoon when they finish school. They are fed, helped with their school work, taught basic life skills, provided a clean uniform to wear, and, most importantly, they are taught the word of God. Our staff also works with the teachers and families because we see this as a partnership - it does no good to teach them one thing at Kid’s Place and then have them get a different message when they go home/to school. Many times, our relationships with the children give us authority/permission to speak truth into the families, which is an incredible opportunity. Kid’s Place provides a holistic program that addresses the spirit (Bible study, prayer time, scripture memory, Bible clubs, counseling, and evangelical outreach), mind (help with homework, learning to write/read Portuguese, art/craft classes, computer labs, field trips to museums/special events, life skills, counseling, and good decision-making), and body (nutritious meals, personal hygiene, medical/dental care, dance classes, judo/karate, soccer, basketball, and other athletic activities).