Sponsor a child in Brazil
Despite being one of the world's great economic powers, poverty and destitution are widespread in Brazil. In the most deprived areas, 97% of children live without access to decent sewerage and risk infection from life-threatening diseases. We have worked to help disadvantaged Brazilian children since the 1960s, and our work continues to improve the lives of many in uncertain times.
Children in Brazil need your support, and you can help by sponsoring a child with SOS Children:Sponsor a child in Brazil
A rapidly growing economy
Over the last ten years, poverty in Brazil has decreased substantially, and living standards have increased. Despite these improvements, extreme poverty persists in some regions, and income inequality remains a huge problem in a country where much of the land is in the hands of a few wealthy families. In some rural areas, nearly one in three are unable to read or write. In the city, crime rates are high, making Sao Paolo and Rio de Janeiro among the most dangerous urban centres in the continent.
Wasted lives for Brazil's children
For many people, shanty towns are home for life. In these cramped and dirty improvised slums, children grow up amid disease and filth, with little chance of escaping a lifetime of poverty. Child poverty is particularly widespread in the north-east of Brazil. In the state of Alagoas, 57% of children aged 1 to 11 grow up in families forced to survive on less than half the minimum wage. In Piaui state, more than a quarter of 10-15 year olds must work to feed their families.
Children in Brazil face a raft of problems which have terrible lifelong consequences:
- Hunger afflicts children throughout Brazil, despite the government's attempts to fight famine and extreme poverty.
- In the big cities, children without parental care often end up on the streets, where even at an early age they are vulnerable to gang violence, sexual abuse and drug addiction.
- Child labour is sometimes the only way to stay alive, and many children shine shoes or sell merchandise by the road just to survive. Without their parents, most of these children live a life of violence, abuse and neglect.
Our charity work in Brazil
SOS Children has helped make life better for Brazilian children like this since 1967. We currently care for well over a thousand children across 16 Villages in Brazil, and we stay with these children as they approach adulthood, helping them prepare for independence at our SOS Youth Homes. We also provide vocational training for youngsters so they are equipped to practice a profession and earn a steady income in adult life.
Our community work extends this support to many more children and families.Our chief aim is to hold together families at risk of separation to ensure children grow up in the best possible environment. By working with community leaders, we help people overcome local challenges by providing guidance as well as material support such as education and healthcare. Daycare too allows mothers to go out to work while their children are safely looked after.
The first SOS Children's Village in Brazil, Porto Alegre, opened in April 1967. The Village is located in the south of the country, in the capital of the federal state of Rio Grande do Sul. The Village was built on a six-acre site on the outskirts of the city and is home to many children. Older children from the Village usually attend the local state schools. An SOS Youth Home in the city centre allows older children from the SOS Children's Village to adjust to independent life.
SOS Children’s Village Brasilia opened in 1968 and is home to over 100 children. Brasília, the country's artificially created capital, has a population of about two million. Brasília was designated as the capital location to promote the development of the country's interior. However, about two thirds of the population live in the huge slums on the outskirts. SOS Children's Village Brasília is situated in the north of the city and is home to many SOS families, as well as accommodating the village director's house, a house for SOS aunts and an administration and service area. The children who live at the SOS Children's Village attend state-run nurseries and schools in the neighbourhood.
Opened in 1968, Poá was the first Village to be built near to São Paulo, Brazil’s largest city. The Village is now home to up to well over 100 children. An SOS Social Centre offers day care for pre-school children from the local community. An SOS Youth Home in the city centre also accommodates up to 18 young people moving on from the Village.
In 1970, Sao Bernardo was the second Village to be built near São Paulo, Brazil’s largest city. Situated in a wooded five-acre site approximately a short distance from São Paulo, it is home to many children who would otherwise be alone. An SOS Social Centre offers day care for up to pre-school children from the local community. Older children from the Village attend local schools. An SOS Youth Home in the town accommodates young people from the SOS Children's Village as they embark on the path to independence.
SOS Children’s Village Goioerê opened in 1977 and is home to up to over a hundred children. Goioerê is a small town in the federal state of Paraná, which borders São Paulo in the south. The Village is located a short way out of town, in the countryside. Children from the SOS Children's Village attend the state-run schools of the city. A large part of the twelve-acre site is used for agriculture, with the produce being consumed by families in the Village. Many of the children take the opportunity to participate in farming, learning useful skills for their future lives. An SOS Youth Home in the city centre accommodates many young people from the Village, helping them to make the transition to adulthood.
Rio Grande do Norte
SOS Children’s Village Rio Grande do Norte opened in 1978. The Village is situated in the federal province of the same name, located on the outskirts of the town of Caicó in the northeast of the country. This very hot region often suffers from long droughts, which hinders agricultural production. SOS Children's Village Rio Grande do Norte provides a home for up to well over 150 children. There is a school attached to the Village, providing primary education for hundreds of pupils, both from the Village and the local community. The Village also includes a lively social centre with a multi-purpose hall for functions and festivities. In 2002, an SOS Youth Home was set up in the province capital of Natal, accommodating young people who live in semi-independence as they approach adult life.
SOS Children’s Village Bahia originally opened in 1980. The site was rebuilt in a new location in 1999 as the original site was threatened by landslides. The Village is situated in the town of Lauro de Freitas, between the airport of Salvador and the city of Salvador de Bahia. SOS Children's Village Bahia is home for up to over 100 children in a number of family houses. There is also a house for SOS aunts, a multi-purpose hall for functions and festivities, a workshop and a crisis intervention centre. The children in the Village attend local state-run primary schools, helping them to integrate into the community. In May 2001, an SOS Community Centre opened, providing day-care for over 200 pre-school children. Older children from the Village live in an SOS Youth Home in the city centre where they learn to adjust to independent adult life.
SOS Children’s Village Jacarepagua opened in 1980, one of two projects in Rio de Janeiro. The Village was built in the suburbs of Jacarepagua, just south of the city centre. It is home to up to well over 100 children. Children from the Village usually attend the state-run schools in the neighbourhood, and 2001, an SOS Youth Home was set up in the city centre to provide semi-independent living for a few youths on the path to adult life. In addition, an SOS Social Centre offers day-care for up to hundreds pre-school children, helping parents to enter paid employment to support their families.
Juiz de Fora
SOS Children's Village Juiz de Fora is situated in the city of the same name in the federal province of Minas Gerais. The Village is located in the suburb Grama. Opened in 1980, the Village is home to around 100 children in ten family houses. It also has an SOS Youth Home, an SOS Primary School for hundreds of pupils and an SOS Social Centre offering full day care for up to many hundreds of pre-school children. An SOS Youth Home in the city centre allows young people to adjust to independent life.
Rio Bonito was the third Village to be built near to São Paulo, Brazil’s largest city. Built in 1980 on a wooded hill in the Rio Bonito suburb south of São Paulo, the Village is about an hour's drive from the city centre. Over a hundred children have found a loving family in the Village. The Village is also home to an SOS Social Centre offering day care for hundreds of pre-school children from the local community. There is also an SOS School, where children from the Village and beyond receive an education. Situated between two dams, the area between the two reservoirs has become a recreational area for the children in the Village to play in. An SOS Youth Home lies outside the Village in the city centre, where a small number of youths live a semi-independent life as they adjust to adult life after leaving the Village.
SOS Children’s Village Santa Maria opened in 1980. Built on a six-acre site on the outskirts of Santa Maria, it consists of a number of family houses, where over 100 children can find a new home. In addition, the Village has a house for the SOS aunts and a multi-purpose hall for functions and festivities. Children from the SOS Children's Village usually attend the local nurseries and schools. An SOS Youth Home in the city of Santa Maria is home to young people who have recently left the Village. With the support of qualified youth workers, these young people develop realistic perspectives for their future, learn to shoulder responsibility and increasingly make their own decisions.
Brazil’s twelfth SOS Children's Village Paraiaba was opened in May 1987. The Village is situated in the suburb of Mangabeira, not far from the city centre of João Pessoa. The dry and hot region in the north of the country suffers from long droughts, affecting agricultural production and increasing poverty. The Village is home to over a hundred children. In addition, there is an SOS Youth Home where young people prepare for independent life. An SOS School opened in the Village in 1990, providing education for many hundreds of students from the Village and the neighbouring communities. An SOS Social Centre also offers day care for up to hundreds of pre-school children.
SOS Children's Village Pedra Bonita, which opened in 1994, is the second of two projects in the urban area of Rio de Janeiro. Public services close to the Village are good, and children attend the local schools. A hospital and shopping centre are only a short distance away. An SOS Youth Home in the city centre is home to young adults after leaving Village.
SOS Children's Village Manaus, opened in 1994, is located in the capital of the province of Amazonas in the north of the country. Most of the province is covered in rainforest, with many rivers running through it. Children from the Village are able to attend state-run schools nearby. Our Village in Manaus includes a small theatre, a library and a volleyball field, and an SOS Vocational Training Centre which helps SOS mothers improve their skills. An SOS Youth Home in the city centre allows young people to get to grips with adult life after leaving the Village. The SOS Social Centre on the Village site provides day care for up to many hundreds of pre-school children from the local area.
SOS Children's Village Igarassu is located in the city of the same name in the northeast of Brazil. Rapid economic growth in the region has led to a big increase in the number of inhabitants, yet roughly a third of the population live on less than half the minimum wage. Many parents living in poverty simply cannot take care of their children, and by collaborating with key members of the community, we aim to keep families together so that children have the best possible upbringing. SOS Children’s Village Igarassu opened in 2007, and is now home to well over a hundred children. A multi-purpose hall and a sports ground give children space to play games and take part in community events. An SOS Social Centre provides day-care, a pharmacy and medical assistance to the local community.
SOS Children's Village Campinas is the newest Children's Village in Brazil, opening in 2010. Situated in the city of Campinas in São Paulo State, it is now home to a number of families. The Campinas region is subject to the same wealth inequalities as much of Brazil, with many of its inhabitants living in extreme poverty. Despite being a small Children's Village, the SOS children at Campinas enjoy a wide-range of activites; from baseball to ballet.
Life in SOS Children's Villages Brazil: Carlos’s story
Carlos came to SOS Children's Village Jacarepagua aged one and a half. Carlos says that the SOS Children's Village at Jacarepagua has always been his home. He liked the feeling of freedom and independence he experienced there. "The first grade of primary school, at that time, used to be spent within the village, but we could leave and walk out; something impossible at other conventional schools," he remembers.
Carlos finished second grade in community schools. He started a course in Computer Science and ended up really enjoying it. "I used to help the director of the school to sort out computer problems and I realised that I was quite good with computers, and I improved," he explains.
When he left the village, he went to live alone. Soon he started teaching Computer Science in Jacarepagua. "Towards the end of my contract in 2004 I moved to Ubatuba, where I now work in an accountancy firm as a computer technician," he says.
"SOS Children's Village Jacarepagua is part of my life," Carlos states. "I was happy there and I will love my home for the rest of my life. I thank those who work or have worked there and were part of my development."
Carlos is certainly a good example of courage and desire to succeed in life. "I want to have my own business. I want to have many customers and to be successful... to have a family ... my own home”, he says.
Aldeias Infantis SOS Brasil
Rua José Antonio Coelho
400 - Vila Mariana
São Paulo, SP
Tel: +55/11/5574 8199
Fax: +55/11/5572 3893