São Bernardo do Campo
Brazil has made progress towards better human development, but urban life is still difficult for many. In the shanty towns of São Paulo, crime rates are high and housing is inadequate, making life insecure and unsafe for the thousands living there.
SOS Children's Village São Bernardo do Campo is located on the southern coast of Brazil in São Paulo. We help vulnerable families and young people in the area to receive the support they need.
The city of São Paulo is home to 11 million people. If you include those living in neighbouring conurbations, the number rises to 29 million. This population explosion, along with air pollution and traffic congestion, has led to critical social problems.
Settlements were rapidly built to accommodate the population, leading to the creation of illegal ‘favela’ settlements - home to around one million people in São Paulo. The local industry has a high demand for cheap labour, which is fulfilled by inhabitants of the many underprivileged neighbourhoods.
Child miss out on education
Growing up in the ‘favelas’ is extremely difficult. Although crime rates have reduced in recent years, they remain high. Often young people are affected the most severely, and face stigma throughout their lives. If it is known that they are from a favela, they are viewed as criminals or drug dealers, and met with fear. The thousands of children born into favelas fight against unjust prejudices as they try to become a successful adult.
Helping families in São Paulo
In 1970, SOS Children's Villages began working in São Bernardo do Campo in São Paulo. However, in 2004 the local authorities decided that SOS Children’s Village São Bernardo do Campo was in an environmental reserve. Subsequently, the SOS families gradually moved out of the Village, and into nearby accommodation.
The SOS Social Centre provides runs community programmes and supports families. These services aim to reduce hardship in the community in a holistic and sustainable manner. We offer day-care and child-minding, so that parents can go to work knowing that their children are in safe hands. We also provide parents with support and training, to help them deliver good care to their children and become financially independent.
A loving home for children with no-one
When a child can no longer live with their parents, they can find a new home with SOS Children's Villages. They live in an SOS family along with their brothers and sisters. Together, they are affectionately cared for by their SOS Mother. Children from the Village attend the SOS primary school in São Paulo, along with children from the community. This way, children living in SOS Families are integrated into the community from a young age.
When a child has grown up and is ready to begin taking their first steps towards independence, they can join our youth programme. Here young people from the Village are supported to pursue further education or vocational training. They can live in shared accommodation, and are helped to plan their future.