Wednesday, November 17, 2004


Roney and Claudiney
Roney and Claudiney, at risk on the streets of São Paulo

Roney and Claudiney, just two of the many children still on the streets of São Paulo.

Here are just a couple of the children we work with at Hummingbird. Roney and Claudiney are brothers, 11 and 12 years old, although quite small for their age. They both live on the streets in the southern regions of the city of São Paulo, but still have some contact with their alcoholic mother.

Their lives have been pretty much guided by fate and fortune, like most other kids on the streets of the big cities in Brazil. A very unstable childhood during the first few years of their lives, mainly due to their mother’s alcoholism, has led them to spend time in residential care during several periods before they actually ended up hitting the streets full-time.

Alex is also on the streets and is Roney’s cousin
Roney visits Hummingbird together with his cousin Alex, who is also on the streets, obviously things run in the family.

Like many of the children in their situation, time on the streets started off by selling sweets or offering other small services to passing cars at busy crossroads, this type of work being forced upon them by the mother to keep the family economy in balance. With three other smaller children to take care of besides Roney and Claudiney, life has certainly not been easy for their single mother.

Obviously the consequences have been tragic for both brothers, who have now lost out on most of their schooling. The only paperwork they have managed to accumulate during their short lives have been the piles of police reports, public complaints and who knows how many court rulings to have the boys sent back home or put into residential care again. With most of Brazil’s shelters already inundated with at-risk kids, not many are willing to take on the likes of street children such as Roney and Claudiney, who’s demanding behaviour is enough to keep an entire staff on their toes.

Gregory removes a rather smelly shoe from Roney’s foot, only to reveal an even smellier sock
Gregory removes a rather smelly shoe from Roney’s foot, only to reveal an even smellier sock

For the time being the boys use our Hummingbird Activity Centre as a drop-in place, somewhere to spend the day or even a few days rest, which can be most welcoming after long periods of tough life on the streets, where drugs and violence are all too commonplace and can play havoc on their fragile physique.

Claudiney is the older of the two and certainly has more willpower to stay off the streets and participate in the activities offered by us. Alone, he has completed several longer periods at Hummingbird. The negative influence and pressure of his younger, although bigger brother has often caused him to go back to the streets, even when we feel he would have preferred to stay longer. In time, hopefully the two will find equilibrium and continue in the programme.

Claudiney and his cousin Alex, who is also on the streets
Claudiney together with his cousin Alex. Thumbs up at Hummingbird.


At 1:18 pm, Blogger Empowerment International said...

It's not fair what happened to Roney! So sweet and innocent regardless of his hard life. It is my hope that he is finally in peace and that his spirit lives on and on in the most productive way. Love and blessings to you Gregory. Your work is not easy! It is your big heart and sensitivity that brought you there and it must be extra hard for such a sensitive person to experience this.

At 6:34 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As far as I understand, Roney has been killed in cold blood on January, 16th this year on the street.

His brother Claudiney was hit by a car after visiting the gravesite of his brother to leave two white roses behind.

Peace to their souls, they were inseperable in life, now they are united again.

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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.