Thursday, November 18, 2004

JOURNEY TO AN UNKNOWN WORLD

11 year old Håkon and Sunniva represent CARF’s youngest supporters
11 year old Håkon and Sunniva from Norway represent CARF’s youngest supporters and have been well prepared for their journey to an unknown world in the middle of São Paulo's cement jungle.

Håkon and Sunniva on the streets of São Paulo. An encounter between two worlds far apart.


Eleven year olds, Håkon and Sunniva, are just two among thousands of school children in Norway who recognize the efforts of our organization in Brazil. As a matter of fact the many school children from the "privileged" world are such an important asset to us that the entire solidarity process behind their actions, in exchange, has also played a significant role in their own education and development as future responsible citizens in our global village.

Building bridges between contrasting realities
Building bridges between children from different realities is an important consideration when thinking global.

These two typical youngsters from the far north suddenly found themselves in an entirely different world, just as contrasting as the radiant colours of their hair and eyes compared with the ebonite equivalent in most Brazilian underprivileged children. They were selected among many like-minded kids in Norway, eager to gain such first-hand knowledge about the problems facing street children. Now they were suddenly face-to-face with the problems that their entire school had sought to understand and diminish during the 10 years they have supported The Hummingbird Project in Brazil.

An unusual experience for both street children and the Norwegians
The inquisitive look on their faces was mutual. Many questions needed answering,...from both sides.

Up until now our youngest supporters have been able to follow the development of CARF’s programmes at a distance, through the educational activities offered to them by our Foundation in Norway. Several schools, where commitment has been long-term, have gained special honours of becoming so-called "Hummingbird" Schools and whose actions have helped us prevent many more children from facing such a tragic destiny of a life on the streets.

A unique learning opportunity with CARF’s founder as their teacher       Glue sniffing is more common amongst the younger kids, but later leading on to crack cocaine.
Facing children in such high-risk situations raises many questions. Here CARF’s founder takes the opportunity to explain to our young observers, how drugs affect street children.

This field experience provided Håkon, Sunniva and their teachers with a unique learning opportunity, a lesson which they will certainly be able to translate into practical actions once back on home territory. Their own school will be realizing a major annual event in support of CARF the week following their return to a country which offers equal opportunities for all children, which far too often are taken for granted by those lucky enough to be on the receiving end. Hopefully, seeing and feeling a quite different reality will help put things into perspective, also an important objective of CARF’s educational work in Norway.

Hilde, their accompanying teacher, soon found out that life can be so very cruel.
Hilde, their teacher, soon found out that life can be so very cruel for some children, more so than she had ever imagined.

Hilde and Magne, the two teachers accompanying Håkon and Sunniva on their rather unusual experience, soon realized that if nothing was done to alleviate the situation, the street children would keep on experiencing things that would most certainly damage their own development, marking them for life and hindering their possibilities to become healthy, functioning and productive citizens. No doubt that a childhood spent on the streets is certainly the best pre-school education towards a criminal future.

Staring into eternity, a far too common look on the face of most children living on the streets.           Finding their way back to dignity is a demanding task
Finding their way back to dignity demands great efforts by people willing to take on the long-term task it is to recuperate children away from the streets. We need your help in doing so. Where there’s a will, there’s a way! Where there are ways, there is also a great need for funding.

Please help us to achieve our goals by making your contribution at the bottom of this page
Please feel free to make your contribution at the bottom of this page. With your support we can certainly achieve much more!



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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