THE HUMMINGBIRD PROJECT
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
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
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
PRINCIPAL ISSUES of The Hummingbird Project:
To offer a concrete alternative for children and adolescents living on the streets;
As part of a proposal for their social reinsertion, to detoxicate them and teach them ways of living without needing to use drugs;
To offer a model for the recovery and placement of street children and adolescents returning them to a social and family environment;
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;
To enable small groups of street children to leave the streets permanently, to be reintegrated into their biological, extended or substitute families;
To attend at-risk community children and those with a "street" profile, and their families, to prevent their migrating to the streets;
To integrate them into positive peer groups;
To improve the family dynamics of children and youth attended by us;
To promote legitimate income sources;
To reach 100% attendance at school;
To reduce Police discrimination towards the target population.