Like A Bag Of Gold
Kauan lives about 5 miles away from the glamorous Castelão stadium where we’ve all been watching World Cup matches in Fortaleza. However, he can only dream of an opportunity to see the stadium from the outside, let alone ever go inside to watch a match.
Kauan is 7 years old and in year 2. He lives with his 3 brothers in a simple shack in the slum. His father finds odd jobs as a gardener and his mother looks after the children in the home.
Kauan is hungry. There is rarely enough food in his home to feed four young boys and as a result, he is a very thin and small for his age.
At the University of Life Kauan looks small and vulnerable. He enjoys all the activities and but often struggles to concentrate in the classroom. At the beginning of the day he often mentions that he is tired or hungry.
Kauan’s friends despite only being 7 or 8 themselves are quick to notice the signs of hunger. Most of them have experienced it themselves and can easily relate to Kauan’s situation.
A few weeks ago, some of his friends came to us asking if they could collect some items and make a food parcel for Kauan’s family. “Of course!” we replied and despite shortages in their own families, the children did their best bringing in rice, pasta and beans. With a little extra help from UNiViDA, a food parcel with enough food for a month, was put together and given to Kauan’s family.
“It’s like having a bag of gold”, remarked Kauan a few days later as he enthusiastically shared the experiences of his family enjoying their gift together.
“I’ve never had sardines before” commented Kauan, “I love them and when I get home I’m going to have some more!”
Meeting the very basic needs of children and their parents is the first step in the journey for UNiViDA. Even though our focus is on delivering education, children like Kauan don’t have a chance at learning if they are tired and undernourished.
At the project we cook over 3,000 meals a month. We want parents and the children to know that we are primarily concerned with their child’s well-being.
Kauan’s parents who are very poor, desperately need someone in the community who is on their side, supporting them and encouraging them to stay together as a family.
Because UNiViDA can offer this kind of support, Kauan’s parents are encouraged, knowing their children are safe, fed and cared for. With the kids safe during the day, they are able to do their best to earn a living, knowing that their children are receiving quality education.