- We create a pathway out of poverty through quality education for children at risk
- We have over 25 years of experience working with children and lots of inspiring results
- We are a Christian organisation offering children life, hope and opportunity for a better future.
Despite Brazil’s wealth and economic growth, millions of Brazilians still live well below the poverty line. Inequality levels are among the highest in the world and development efforts are hampered by a Pandora’s box of social structure and history.
Explore any of Brazil’s major cities and you will find favelas, the homes of 12 million Brazilians. (that’s more than the entire population of Portugal). These people live in cramped, improvised dwellings with only squatters rights. Babies born in favelas are immediately at risk because of a lack of basic infrastructure including clean water, sanitation and access to health care.
Childhood in a Brazilian favela is a hasty introduction to poverty, inequality and hopelessness. The state school system offers 4 hours of classes per child, per day which is not enough and children soon drop out.
Many children quickly come face to face with the only real career options available to them. At best this might be work as a domestic maid or a street vendor, at worst it is prostitution, theft or drug dealing. Violence in favelas is under-reported and terrifying. Estimates put the number of murders each year in Brazil between 40 and 50,000, according to the UN, that’s enough to class it as a low intensity civil war zone.
Tackling this gloomy reality by bringing hope and opportunity is not an easy task and requires a sensitive community based approach. In partnership with local Brazilians, UNiViDA is using over 25 years of experience to deliver services which support families, create hope and most importantly, offer practical support to these children.
Transforming children from defeated to determined individuals is what we do. One child at a time we address their physical, emotional and spiritual needs, offering inspiration to help them dream beyond the confines of the favela. Then, one day at a time we walk alongside these children to make sure they actually have the education, character and skills necessary to make those dreams a reality.
It is Brazilian children and young people themselves who have helped determine the growth of our work in Brazil as we have sought to help them define and follow their own pathways out of poverty.
WHAT WE DO
UNiViDA’s work currently takes places in the hear of a slum community in the city of Fortaleza. With a purpose built facility and plenty of open space, we provide an additional 4 hours of education a day for 370 children in the form of an ‘after-school programme’
Each day we provide a safe environment for children to play and make friends. We help students follow the state school curriculum and supervise their homework. (In a favela there is no quiet place, desk or chair for a child to study!).
We also teach subjects which are not taught by the state school. These include, PE dance, drama, music, IT, citizenship, hygiene, nutrition, art and environmental sutdies. THese subjects provide essential life skills, inspire students to broaden their horizons and help them to dream.
In addition we offer Christian training in missions and community social action.
As students progress in their studies, UNiViDA aims to help them become successful individuals contributing to their society. We offer vocational training, coaching and help with university tuition fees.
As our students succeed, UNiViDA succeeds and the community is transformed, one child at a time.