COMPASSION ON THE STREET
The project Compassiva nas Ruas (Compassion on the Street) serves children and teenagers who are living on the street in São Paulo city center.
For the most part, these children come from the outer fringes of the city, neighborhoods that lack basic infrastructure and have a high crime rate.
“Urban refugees” may be the best expression to describe the homeless, because their situation is the reaction or the response that the child/teenager has taken after finding themselves abandoned, neglected or a victim of violence.
Their first contact with the street life is extremely exciting; you can do whatever you want, whenever you want, creating a false sense of freedom and security. However, drugs and crime soon follow, and the consequences of a misspent youth are often the most bitter, spanning an entire lifetime.
The purpose of the project Compassiva nas Ruas is to contribute to the defense of the rights of children and teenagers in vulnerable or risky situations (homeless), minimizing the impacts of living in the streets, and aiding the child and the teenager to leave this poisonous environment.
To achieve this goal, the work is developed on three fronts, each complementing the other:
Street Visits: The team of educators make an initial approach to the children/teens using sport and educational games. These activities serve as a means of ‘harm reduction’, as they are an alternative to the experiences and dynamics of the street, which contributes to their holistic development. These moments also serve to create and deepen connections between volunteers and kids, which are indispensable in the process of reversing their situation on the street.
Family Visits: Every child/teenager on the street has as their roots in a family in a vulnerable situation.
Therefore it is essential to offer family support. Compassiva na Rua approaches their families, providing support and assistance to their needs, to contribute to the restructuring of the family and to increase the possibility of the child/teenager returning home.
Support in points of reception or socio-educational measures: In partnership with these fronts, the project offers continuity to their support and to the bond created between volunteers and kids. In these times, the opportunity often arises to start a mentoring relationship where the child/teenager is accompanied by an educator/mentor who will assist in the rehabilitation and reformation process.
We believe in relationship that transforms, and so we not only provide a service, but we also offer the opportunity to create bonds.
Therefore we place ourselves next to children and teenagers living on the streets, trying to better understand the life that they face, and spark their hopes for change.
Monday through Thursday from 14:00 to 17:00 – Approaches on the Street;
Friday from 14h00 to 17h00 – Team meeting and planning.
Coordinator: Caetano Pinilha – email@example.com