Martina, our volunteer in the North East of Brazil, is now in Rio preparing to welcome Pope Francis to World Youth Day. Since her arrival, a little over a month ago, Martina has worked as a volunteer in a day centre for street children, run by the AMAR Foundation.
Every morning the AMAR minivan goes to the central station to collect the kids that are sleeping there. Then the bus takes them to the centre that provides showers, meals, arts and sports activities, but most importantly it provides them with love and support.
For the first few days I found it very hard, especially going out to collect them and seeing how many children are actually living on the streets. Many of them had to leave their homes because of violence, drugs and abuse.
It took me some time to adjust but soon I started to see them as normal children who still like to play and really enjoy being children…though there is no easy solution to solve this big problem. What I was able to see, was that even small acts of kindness make a difference to the children and provide them with the hope for the future. Martina