Voice from the Favela

Ground breaking and exciting is how I can best describe this innovative new blog. Which gives the children from the Santa Teresa favela a voice with which to share their perspectives on the daily ups and downs of life as they experience it.

visit now and leave a comment, we can all remember a word of affirmation, which unknown to the giver, has stayed with us through life.

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Brazil’s farmers and micro finance 1

One of our leading projects in the North East of Brazil is to explore how we might offer support, through a micro finance innitiative, to rural communities in the north east of Brazil.

Joe has been leading on this and is currently in talks with our partners CAFOD and Global Link.

In this video Joe describes the context of the project.

We are new to micro finance and are hoping that others with more experience may come forward and help.

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Pedalling for poverty

Volunteers of all ages turned out in force to cycle, marshal, cheer lead, or make refreshments for the third annual Cycle Marathon.
Listen to Joe,(chairman of VinB)and other volunteers talk about their hopes for the afternoon, which should raise about £1000.00 for the children in the Living & Learning project in Rio.
Thank you to everyone who took part and to those who sponsored the riders.

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Children’s Day and lots of fun

These children did have a great day !

“Using the donation that the children from the England collected, we made a very beautiful and fun party for the children yesterday.
In Brazil, the 12th of October is a holiday, because is the day of Our Lady of Penha, Patron Saint of Brazil, and is also the Children’s Day.

We started the day watching Harry Potter. The culmination of this activity was when, at the end of the film, after the applause, I had with me a packet of “mints of all flavors”, like in the film, that came from Disneyland. Then they could try out the candies and they were incredibly hoping to find those with bad tastes like ear wax, grass, vomiting, and more! It was a great surprise!

Then came the game contest. The game consists in each group roll the dice and move their pieces on a board chalked on the floor. Each number on the board correspond to a task. The tasks were questions, games to find bugs, math, origami, etc.. The dice could only be rolled again when the task was complete. Won the group that reached the end of the board first. The winners won chocolate bars, the favorite reward!

After the fun we have a special snack with cheese bread, pizza, a delicious chocolate cake packed with lots of strawberries! At the end of the day, each child took with him the joy of a relaxing day, fantasy, and a bag of sweets and goodies, of course!

We want to thank the children who have been mobilized to provide this special day!

Lots of love from us all, Elizabeth Sarlo.”

What an inspiring example of children helping other children to have fun.

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Perspectives on poverty….whose

As promised these are the (paraphrased) perspectives on poverty presented to us at our first ‘Global Development’ course meeting. The presentation began with a selction of secular perspectives.

Perspective 1 When people lack freedon amd are repressed they do not flourish.
Solution: Enable people to be free.
Perspective 2 Human nature as it is there has to be restraints on the freedom of the strong to protect the vulnerable.
Solution: Develop systems of government that ensure equality and freedom for all.
Perspective 3 The lifestyle and demand on natural resources in the ‘developed’ Western nations is a causational factor of poverty for other nations.
Solution: Find sustainable solutions to development.
Perspective 4 The notion of westernised development through sustainable economic growth is no longer a viable option.
Solution: ‘Sustainable contraction’ everyone must live a less materialistic life.

The lecture then moved to presenting solutions based on development as a spiritual journey.

Perspective 5 The default position of humankind is darkness which is manifested in examples of vice such as greed and self interest. Light is brought to the darkness through acts of virtue.
Solution: Human development is about the development of virtues such as compassion and social justice through education.
Perspective 6 The Christian belief that man has dominion over the natural world and his subsequent separation from it, along with the promise to the poor that they will have salvation in the next world has contributed to poverty.
Solution: Deconstruct the ‘bad’ thinking of the past.
Perspective 7 The ‘Indigenouse Perspective’ suggests that that poverty occurs when:
a. We have lost our connection to the spirit.
b. When we have lost our connection to our community.
c.When we do not have enough to share.

Now the thing is…does this listing assist me in becoming more effective in alleviating poverty? Has it helped or confounded your thinking ? I am at the point of thinking each one of the different perspectives can make a contribution, but they need to be founded on a connection to the spirit of our inner self.

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