Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Those with the least, help the most!

It's amazing the people you can meet in a community of about 300,000 people. I have made it my life's mission to help in any way possible to connect with others who need help. Or meet others that have the same idea. About two weeks ago I met Luciana who has a creche (daycare) "Creche Refugio Fortaleza" in her home. I met her son months ago but thought it best after hearing about the work she does.

The front of Luciana's home that also acts as a daycare

Luciana is 48 years old and lives in a very humble home at the top of Rua 2. She was born and raised in Rocinha and is raising her kids here as well. Because of health issues, she decided to open up her home to other children as she was raising her own. She at the same time was raising her young daughter so this stay at home work was best for her. She opened her creche in August of 2013. Her creche is a home run "business" but she makes equal to about 800 reais a month. As many of you know this is not a lot of money to live but she manages. She is married and her husband works as a construction laborer. They barely make it with their combined income but they don't complain.

I decided to stop by and distribute some donations of art supplies that she can use for the kids.

 Luciana with some of her "children".

After visiting her "Creche" or home. I knew this would be a great fit for us. For me, the idea is to create bridges where the most needy can access the help they need. Luciana has the creche but she also organizes donation drives in Rocinha. She collects unwanted clothing and shoes and the distributes them to some of the poorer familes in the favela. She has connections to an area called "Palmerinha" in "City of God" favela which she says is one of the poorest and the people there are forgotten. For someone who has so little, she gives so much.

These are the type of people who I want to work with. In August we have some teachers from outside of Brazil coming by to visit the creche and make a tour of Rocinha. We are going to organize that part of the money from the tour will go towards the creche and their needs.

I want to make this part of our tour route where people can donate items directly to the creche. At this time she takes care of about 25 children between the ages of 1 year and 10 years of age. I asked her what she needs the most to sustain the creche. I told her to make a list, so here it is:

Powdered Milk
Diapers Sizes Small-XL
Hygienic Products
Used Toys
Rubber Mats (for children to sit on)
Sippy Cups
Plastic Spoons
Plastic Plates
Colored Pencils
Crayons Scissors (for Children)
Drawing paper

If any of you who come on our tours wish to visit the creche and contribute with a few of these supplies we can organize this for you.
Contact: visitrocinha@gmail.com

Below are some photos of the kids from the creche.


University of Minnesota teachers and students came by and were able to donate 250 reais worth of items for the creche. Thank you to Frances Durkin for facilitating this meeting and hope you return soon!