Despite Brazil being at the top table of the world's biggest economies, the country still has a major issue of extreme poverty. Where there are millions who live in comfort, millions more earn less than half the minimum income to fulfil their basic needs. Goioerê is no exception.
SOS Children's Villages work to alleviate hardships in the community, providing children with a stable and loving home.
High rate of unemployment
Goioerê is a small municipality of 29,000 residents in the state of Parana in southern Brazil. The town's economy relies on commerce and agriculture such as soya and corn. Industrialisation of the town is taking place slowly and much of its commerce is in micro-enterprises.
There is a high rate of unemployment in the town, and many work on the informal economy meaning there is little job security even among those who do get work. Official estimates put the rate of poverty (defined as half the minimum income to fulfil their basic needs) at about 25% of Goioerê's population. Where the wealthiest 20% receive 60% of the income in the city, the poorest 20% take under 2%.
Many families have no one working and rely on social programmes such as the 'Bolsa Familia' as a major source of income - 240 families have state handouts as their sole means of supporting the family.
Education - a ticket out of poverty
Many children don't get a basic education. It is estimated that in Goioerê that 9.8% of children between the ages of seven and 14 are not at school, while only 55% of young people between the ages of 15 and 17 complete their high school education.
There is an issue of 'gymslip mothers' in Goioerê, with a higher than average rate of children being born to mothers who should be at school. Around one in four children are born to teenage mothers who are too young to go to work and frequently don't have the support of their families to feed and house their children.
Making a difference in Goioerê
SOS Children's Villages set up our Children's Village in Goioerê in 1977. We run a social centre which reaches out to the whole community, while taking in children who can no longer live with their parents.
Over the years our services to the community have evolved and we now run a family strengthening programme which aims to keep families together. The social centre includes a day care unit where parents can leave their children during the day while they work to support the family, enabling them to bring home an extra income and improve the comfort of their children.
A new caring home for orphans
In our Children's Village, SOS families provide a loving home to children in Goioerê who can no longer live with their own families. Children at our families live with their brothers, sisters and SOS Mother, and attend school in their community.
As young people grow into adults, we offer an SOS youth programme which supports them through further education and vocational training. Such children live in shared accommodation and are able to talk to qualified counsellors as they find their way forward in life.