Wednesday, June 29, 2005


... in my dream
Originally uploaded by Tatiana Cardeal.

During the Urban Outcries programme on social communication there were also happy and optimistic moments like the one pictured here, captured by our highly talented volunteer photographer, Tatiana Cardeal

Tuesday, June 28, 2005


In memory of... (II)
This symbolic graveyard was an installation mounted by the kids of the Hummingbird F.C. in connection with our Social Communication Programme, URBAN OUTCRIES

Each cross and each gravestone represents an unreasonable reason for dying.

The theme for this edition of the Urban Outcries programme on social communication was Small Firearms and their consequences on society.

The children and young people attended by CARF’s Street Migration Prevention Programme are just too familiar with the consequences of small firearms in their own communities, most of them having already lost members of their own families. They know only too well, all the ridiculous reasons by which their loved ones fell victims to small firearms.

In any of those cases, could the tragic consequence be justified by the reason? We doubt very much so!

To emphasize the facts surrounding this simple but effective installation and to add to the dreadful statistics, on the very evening of the Urban Outcries programme; 5..., yes, five kids between the age of 14 and 18 were shot dead by the police only 3kms from us!

14-year old Thiago was the older brother of Jonathan, one of our capoeira kids, the son of one of our mothers.

mothers II
Just another mourning mother to add to the long list of mothers who have already lost their loved ones. A scene from the theatrical performance done by mothers of children attended by the Hummingbird Project – Photo by Tatiana Cardeal

Thiago ran for his life together with several other colleagues when the police suddenly invaded their favela in search of a particular drug trafficker. Their hiding under a bed in one of the shacks did not protect them; neither did the gun that one of the kids had on him. The police shot them all dead during their frantic human hunt without even knowing why, simply five more unreasonable reasons to add to our symbolic cemetery.

Below are just some of the phrases left on the gravestones by our kids. You can read more unreasonable reasons for dying on the other images in the Urban Outcries series on our Flickr FotoBlog

(Eu acho que ela foi criada para manter a paz.)
“I thought it was made to maintain peace.”

(É minha! Você pode usar.)
“It’s mine! But you can use it.”

(Olha o que o papai esqueceu ali!)
“Look what daddy forgot there!”

(Sempre a carrego comigo!)
“I always carry it on me!”

(Não quero nem saber, não é meu filho!)
“I don’t want to know, he’s not my son!”

(Agora eu tenho respeito!)
“Now I have respect!”

(Comprei uma arma, agora me sinto seguro.)
“I bought a gun, so now I’m safe.”

(Agora quero ver quem mexe comigo.)
“I’d like to see who’d mess with me now.”

(Eu vou me defender!)
“I’ll defend myself!”

(Não penso assim, acredito que elas possam nos ajudar!)
“I don’t think so; I believe they can help us!”

(Quero ver quem leva uma comigo!)
“Who’ll be first for the taking!”

Will the killings never cease?

Saturday, June 04, 2005


Alberto - I
Originally uploaded by carf.

We are his parachute and safety net in rough storms

Alberto is ten years old. He lives with his father alone. His father drinks too much and that leaves Alberto in rather a delicate situation. His mother he does not know, she’s been in prison too long, since he was small, because she killed a pregnant woman. Alberto reckons she will spend thirty years there.

Alberto balances between many uncertainties with his father, who puts strict but inconsequent limitations on him, depending on his own state of mind. Things like not letting him go to school or participate in activities at Hummingbird. Alberto is still too young to go against his dad in situations like these, but the time will come as he grows.

It’s important we follow-up a kid like Alberto, who stands in danger of hitting the streets in a tough way. We are his parachute and safety net in rough storms, that’s important, it prevents him from becoming yet another street kid.

The mark on his throat was his drunk dad last night.

I captured this shot at the end of the afternoon, whilst Alberto was in my office explaining why he couldn't make it to school or Hummingbird today. He stood by my side and suddenly the sun was there, shining its golden light on his story, bringing some warmth into his otherwise rather cold life. That made me feel happy and now it has made him feel happy too, as he sits here by the side of my computer and sees that there are so many people in the world who care about him. His photo received 50 visits within the first 15 minutes of uploading to our gallery on Flickr and he couldn't believe that there were so many people who would care about him.

That's a real good reason to put a smile on his face.
Another good reason is that this photo represents our 1000th. image uploaded to our Flickr Photo Gallery, so now we’re smiling too.

Thanks for all the visits! More than 24.000 during the last four months

Preventive work is our most important investment today and like most preventive actions, it turns out much cheaper in the long run. Much cheaper than rescuing a kid once he’s lost to the streets. The Hummingbird Project attends 600 kids today, many of them in the same situation as Alberto. If we can save these kids from hitting the streets, we haven’t only done them a big favour; we have also saved the Brazilian society for another great big headache, on top of all the other headaches this country is suffering from.

If you visit our gallery you will see that there is a smile appearing on Alberto’s face. It is a sign of hope. Like most of the kids we work with, it represents their hope of better future.

Alberto - V

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.