Saturday, July 30, 2005


Criança Esperança - ChildHope, originally uploaded by carf.

Hummingbird flies across Brazil, spreading its wings to convey “A Child’s View”

Hummingbird’s Cultural Group is to participate in the traditional, Nation-wide Brazilian Television programme called “Criança Esperança” (ChildHope), organized by the prestigious TV Globo and UNESCO. More than 50 children and young people are representing Hummingbird at the event, which goes live on Saturday night, August 6th., in a mini musical spectacular called “A Child’s View”.

The Banda Beija-Flor is honoured to present their self-composed music, which conducts the emotional 4-minute musical, entirely conceived by our children – the real Hummingbirds of our “Hope”, and which combines Hummingbird’s regular activities such as Break-dance, Guitar, Percussion and Capoeira.

The performance illustrates the biography of thousands of street children, whom lost and alone wander the pathways of an unjust Brazil, their views and sentiments constantly searching for comprehension, only to find prejudice and abandonment.

Criança Esperança - ChildHope II
An open-air rehearsal takes place on the football grounds in front of the Hummingbird Activity Centre in connection with TV Globo's filmtake to be used during their Nation-wide programme, Criança Esperança on 6th. August.

Hummingbird’s positive actions wake in them a new life; a dignified life deserved by any human being. However, the main target of our message is each and every one of us because WE are the one's who really need to wake up, to do our share.

Therefore our chorus-line is: Wake up my Brazil!

Applaud, watch and sing with us!

Thursday, July 28, 2005


Clearing new terrain - the hard-working foot of 7-year old José Roberto.
Clearing new terrain. - The hard-working foot of 7-year old José Roberto.

Taking Hummingbird to the community instead of the community coming to us

Last week was the start-off for a new development in the Hummingbird Project called Beija-Flor na Comunidade (Hummingbird in the Community), which literally means we took Hummingbird to the community instead of the community come to us. In other words, Hummingbird is spreading its wings!

The programme is part of a new strategy being developed by our youth mentors to get a preliminary feel in connection with their objectives to implant small Hummingbird nuclei in the more distant parts of our community, thus bringing our activities to the poorest kids who have no means of reaching our main centre.

The first community to be receiving some of Hummingbird’s vibrant activities was the Sitio Joaninha, which is a rough hilly area about 6 kilometres away from us, where many of the families who used to work on the rubbish tip live. The tip was closed down a few years ago and the area covered with topsoil so as to recuperate some of the natural vegetation.

Most of the shanty homes were constructed during the active years of the tip, when entire families found their livelihoods under the most unhealthy and hazardous working conditions. Since its closure there has been very few alternatives in the way of work and habitation, so very few have been able to move to better conditions. To the contrary; the area has rapidly grown to accommodate even more poverty-stricken families who have no other alternative than to grab a small plot of land and try to survive on what little is available in terms of public amenities in such places.

The majority of homes have no running water and depend on the council delivering drinking water by truck each day. Electricity is acquired through a series of illegal connections, which people have hooked-up to the main electricity network through a maze of literally thousands of metres of wiring crossing the landscape in all directions in order to bring power to one’s home.
This is quite common during the rapid growth of favela (shanty) areas and pressures from the inhabitants will eventually cause most councils to come up with a more satisfactory and less risky solution.

7-year old José Roberto
7-year old José Roberto was so happy to hear about Hummingbird coming to his community that he was more than willing to leave his kites behind to help out with the hard work of cleaning up an area for our visit. He was obviously pretty used to this kind of "job" as you will gather from the main photo of his foot

Bruno, our youngest youth mentor gives lessons to kids from Sitio Joaninha
Bruno (right), is our youngest youth mentor and although only 18 years old he has already gained considerable experience teaching the children at Hummingbird on the instrument he himself has grown up with, the Brazilian cavaquinho, traditionally used in Samba.

Children entirely engulfed in the enchanted new world of Hummingbird
Under very simple conditions and a low-cost structure we were able to let the children “travel” to their own colourful dreamland. It wasn’t long before the children were entirely engulfed in the enchanted new world of Hummingbird, an unknown experience for many of them.

7-year old José Roberto plays the Cavaquinho
7-year old José Roberto exchanges his shovel for a cavaquinho and discovers the joys of music.

The children of Sitio Joaninha
The children of Sitio Joaninha welcome Hummingbird to their community. Their expectations were as expected and many kids had already turned up early in the morning to wait for the Hummingbird Bus to arrive.

Solo performance of a young rapper
The fuel of our programme is the satisfaction seen on the faces of the children receiving our attention, like the boy above, who's self-esteem certainly rose during his solo performance as a young rapper.

Hummingbird Spreads Its Wings - XXVII
Here are some of our youth multipliers and scholarship holders who make up the AfroBreak dance group at Hummingbird. They are a pretty energetic group of youngsters who are more than dedicated to what they practice, which is mainly Break dancing, and love teaching others too.

Hummingbird Spreads Its Wings - II
Here, one of our youth mentors, Davi (left) from the Banda Beija-Flor, discusses their new proposal with inhabitants of the area, who have gathered to clear an open piece of land to facilitate our activites there.

Many of the children who live here have a long way to walk to reach school, as there is no public transport. The tendency is therefore not to go, especially during the rainy or colder seasons. Very few have the willpower or even the means of getting to Hummingbird to participate in all the good things we have to offer in our Street Migration Prevention Programme, although there are some who do.

This is the main reason for us to bring Hummingbird to the kids. If we can manage to finance a more permanent solution we will be able to continue with a variety of activities throughout the entire year and not just during the school holiday season as is this experience.

Sunday, July 17, 2005


Nothing Is Greater Than Love - I
Kids of Hummingbird vibrate to the Reggae rhythms of the popular group Alma d’Jem during the making of their latest Video Clip, Nothing is Greater Than Love at our prevention center in São Paulo.

Wake up my Brazil! Wake up my Brazil! Our people need some hope.

This week we were delighted to receive positive confirmation from the prestigious Brazilian TV Globo that Hummingbird will be participating in their traditional and equally prestigious mega show called Criança Esperança, which unites some of the best in Brazilian entertainment in their annual effort to raise funds through the media to support social development programmes for underprivileged children in Brazil.

The programme is a partnership between TV Globo and UNESCO and this year marks the 20th. Anniversary of the quality show, which has since its beginnings received more than USD$50 million in donations, invested in more than 4.750 social development projects and NGO’s.

Criança Esperança has contributed towards bettering the lives of approx. 3 million children and young people, by helping to reduce infant mortality, child labour and sexual exploitation. Part of the funding has also gone towards helping at-risk youth by preparing them for a more professional job market.

Our emblem of the street kid lying on the Brazilian flag and rescued by the actions of the Hummingbird will be the central theme in the 4-minute mini-spectacular, presented by the children and young people of the Hummingbird Activity Centre. We are planning to unite classical tones from famous Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg’s immortal Peer Gynt Suites, together with percussion rhythms from our Banda Beija-Flor, combining theatrical elements with break dancing and capoeira by respectively our break dance group, Afro-Break, and Capoeira Beija-Flor.

Nothing Is Greater Than Love - XXIII Nothing Is Greater Than Love - XXI
Our Banda Beija-Flor are responsible for the music in the presentation of our mini spectacular during the Criança Esperança Show on Globo TV.

We expect to offer viewers an emotional and most memorable experience, which will hopefully contribute towards an even better result for the 20th. edition of this most popular programme.

By the way, if you would like to support us in this action by making a quick USD$10 donation using the link at the bottom of this page, we will send you a beautiful coloured enamel pin with the above emblem, like the example here, only smaller.
Just remember to include your name and address on the Pay Pal contribution page. We will certainly be grateful for the faith you show in our kids

Monday, July 04, 2005


I mean damn it, they still shoot kids in Brazil, don’t they!

These positively joyful faces and colours make me really happy and give me strength, so much happiness and so much strength!
But then I ask myself; how long can we keep them so positive? How long can we hold their heads high above the tormented waters that constantly surround them?

In a society that has nothing to offer to an impoverished and underprivileged kid, a society that has forgotten its own children..., Hummingbird means an entire world!

So, if there is so little hope in such a society, how then can we keep them off the streets? Why? Is it at all possible to raise their hopes and create opportunities for a better and more optimistic future for these kids, even if they see no light in the end of the dark tunnel?

We believe so, ...and they believe us!

Sometimes I get so frightened just thinking of what the future has in store for each and every one of these kids, and even more so when I realize how much they believe and trust in us. If I think too hard about it then I loose my sleep because I too have to face the facts of life, facts that are more than enough to destroy whatever little optimism one is able to mobilize in oneself. I mean damn it, they still shoot kids in Brazil, don’t they!

So what are the real values in life for us human beings? I also ask myself that question, time and time again! But I get no real answers because real answers for me can only be found in terms of concrete human actions. Sorry to say, tangible actions are something we lack in this country, where words still hang loose on the slippery tongues of those who govern it. A country that still accepts the fact that hundreds of thousands of kids sleep out on the streets in the big cities every single night, instead of living and smiling like the kids in our photos do, kids who live and smile for each new day because we give them something to believe in and to live for.

Your greatest investment is in our children - IV
Your greatest and most important investment is in our children.

So why does our government not do the same? Why does our population simply accept the fact and turn a blind eye?

What we at Hummingbird use in an entire year to keep each of our kids off the streets, the government uses each week to incarcerate kids who are in conflict with the law, locked away in public reform centers, better known as criminal high schools. We actually use a great deal of our taxpayer’s money to train hardened criminals in Brazil, certainly not to recuperate them!

Just take a look at this photo and others in our Gallery, then tell me who’s losing out in this game! If you think we’re worth the small investment needed to keep a kid off the streets instead of in and out of the state sponsored criminal high schools, then simply go ahead and do your little bit at the bottom of this page, your concrete little monthly action!

We need you and so do our kids, because if we are to wait for government reforms to do the job, we too will end up joining the ranks of our kids on the losing end!

Friday, July 01, 2005


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

This is yet another of those wonderful photos taken at the last event in the series of Urban Outcries, by our volunteer photographer and humble friend Tatiana Cardeal.
This image is totally in contrast to what was actually going on outside our own front doorstep that evening. Read the article below to see the reality we have to face in our daily work to protect community kids from such absurd violence.

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.