A group of Dominican nuns, originally from Graubünden, went to Teresina, in northeast Brazil exactly 70 years ago to aide families of World War II refugees. There they learned first-hand of the prevailing misery in Brazil, especially among children, young people and women.
They have accompanied families there since the creation of the marginalised neighbourhood in 1993. The only "space" for classes, meetings and celebrations was in the shade of a large mango tree. The nuns were able to acquire a piece of land in the neighbourhood. It was there that the community built its first community center with very simple means, earthen walls and a roof made of palm leaves. Over the next 27 years, a multi purpose social center was built. The center continues to offer some 140 children, teenagers and women, a life-enhancing alternative to the streets:
Extracurricular homework help, music lessons, sports, theatre, crafts. Particularly important is the fact that each child receives a hot meal every day. Every week, about 80 women attend vocational training courses in order to earn an income. Young adults learn computer skills. Everyone is welcome, regardless of faith or religion. Everyone finds a listening ear and advice.
I hope, dear friends, that you will join me in supporting this project and that we will work in the same direction.