Wednesday, November 17, 2004

THE HUMMINGBIRD PROJECT


Children are at extreme risk on the streets of São Paulo
Children are at extreme risk on the streets of São Paulo

How are CARF'S ideas different to other innovative solutions already practised in the same field of social work?


The difference in our programme is that it offers a definite solution, a goal to be aimed for by the child in concern, already from the very first moments of contact on the streets between the educator and the child. The whole objective being to diminish a strong feeling of neglect and to create in the child a hope for tomorrow linked to a positive family situation (the dream of many a street child), at the same time preserving and strengthening ties (without threatening the relationships) with the child's biological family. The necessity to offer a clearly defined and satisfactory solution to the street child is our response to the lack of such ideals from similar organisations, which still seem to base their programmes on relief work. Many of these programmes create better living conditions on the streets and therefore attract even more children to them.

Children abandoned on the streets of São Paulo
Children abandoned on the streets of São Paulo

The hardcore work of actually recuperating a street child really only starts once the child is off the streets. This includes discovering the life history of each child as far back in time as we are able, including root causes for their abandonment such as racial discrimination. Few organisations are willing to take that stride, or maybe they simply have not discovered that the recuperation and reintegration of such children into our society will only be successful once the child is relieved of his dependency to the streets. Basing our judgement on many years of practical groundwork, we believe this to be greater than any other of their drug dependencies.

CARFs founder with street children on the streets of São Paulo
CARFs founder with street children on the streets of São Paulo

Active child and youth participation in the organization is an essential part of our methodology, including their own implementation and development of programs as creative youth entrepreneurs. These young entrepreneurs or community mentors are themselves young people who have been the victims of either poverty, abandonment, violence, abuse or drugs, and are responsible for most of the onsite work with the children attended by our organization today.

Returning children to a social and family environment
Returning children to a social and family environment

PRINCIPAL ISSUES of The Hummingbird Project:


Offering an concrete alternative for children of the streets
To offer a concrete alternative for children and adolescents living on the streets;

Teaching them ways of living without needing to use drugs
As part of a proposal for their social reinsertion, to detoxicate them and teach them ways of living without needing to use drugs;

Returning them to a social and family environment
To offer a model for the recovery and placement of street children and adolescents returning them to a social and family environment;

Offering bio-psycho-social care and accompaniment to street children
To offer bio-psycho-social care and accompaniment to street children living on the streets of São Paulo and our own municipality Diadema, working within the Principles of Integral Protection in order that they can be offered genuine possibilities of considerably changing their lives, gaining more just conditions in which to develop;

Reintegration into their biological, extended or substitute families
To enable small groups of street children to leave the streets permanently, to be reintegrated into their biological, extended or substitute families;

Preventing street migration of at-risk community children
To attend at-risk community children and those with a "street" profile, and their families, to prevent their migrating to the streets;

Integrating them into positive peer groups
To integrate them into positive peer groups;

Improving the family dynamics of children and youth
To improve the family dynamics of children and youth attended by us;

Promoting legitimate income sources
To promote legitimate income sources;

Reaching 100% attendance at school
To reach 100% attendance at school;

Reduce Police discrimination
To reduce Police discrimination towards the target population.

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Basic Scholarships – USD$40.00 - $50.00 per month

Aimed at impoverished younger children participating in our Street Migration Prevention Programme, normally aged between 11 and 14 years of age. This scholarship guarantees their active participation at the Hummingbird Activity Center alongside their essential attendance in public schools. The scholarship helps combat child labor in high-risk families by preventing these children becoming new victims. The scholarship is awarded to those in particularly difficult life situations where survival often becomes a more important factor than the child’s educational needs and mental and physical health. As a regular sponsor you will have the opportunity to stay in contact with your scholarship holder and to follow the changes your sponsorship will be making in this child's life.

Intermediate Scholarships - USD$60.00 - $70.00 per month

This youth scholarship is aimed at developing vocational interests in young people as they grow with our programme, guaranteeing their commitment and eventually leading them on towards an advanced scholarship. A firmer step towards their personal life project. As a regular sponsor you will have the opportunity to stay in contact with your scholarship holder and to follow the changes your sponsorship will be making in this young person's life.

Advanced Scholarship - USD$80.00 - $100.00 per month

Aimed to inspire older youth reach their potential in whatever area they are developing natural or acquired abilities in programmes at the Hummingbird Activity Centre. The scholarship can be used to cover costs for supplementary, external educational courses or for extra training sessions and materials. Such funds would otherwise be an impossible priority for them to obtain within an impoverished family situation. As a regular sponsor you will have the opportunity to stay in contact with your scholarship holder and to follow the changes your sponsorship will be making in this young person's life.

"THE RICH MUST LIVE MORE SIMPLY SO THAT THE POOR MAY SIMPLY LIVE." - Mahatma Gandhi