Brazil: A Visit to the humedica Children's Village in Novoa Friburgo

by Judith Kühl, 2009/03/05

humedica managing directors Wolfgang Groß and Joachim Panhans were very enthusiastic on their return from their visit to Brazil. The Children's Village in Nova Friburgo, run by a Brazilian humedica team, has been providing, thanks to excellent management, the best possible care and support for more than 200 children from socially disadvantaged families.

From February 16 to 24, 2009, humedica managing directors Wolfgang Groß and Joachim Panhans paid a visit to humedica Brasil. The main reason for the trip was to take part in the sister organisation's annual meeting.

The German humedica management also took the opportunity to visit the Children's Village in Nova Friburgo. The day-care centre, established in 1994, is a humedica long-term project.

Joachim Panhans, responsible for the project's PR, was amazed at the superb condition of the childen's village.

Children from different cultural backgrounds come together in one community spirit. Foto: humedica/Panhans

"The children's community spirit, the staff's management and the well-kept grounds are exemplary."

Every day, more than 200 children between the ages of 4 and 14 come to the Children's Village. At lunchtime, there is a filling warm meal for everybody.

The Children's Village provides a a varied programme to support children from deprived families. Apart from coaching and assistance with homework, the children are taught English, basic IT skills and applied hygiene.

Children having fun learning to use computers. Foto: humedica/Panhans

A large variety of sport and leisure activities offer ample opportunities for playing together, also a measure for the children's successful social integration.

"Younger and older children, as well as children from different cultures, play and learn together. There is not one group that isolates itself from others", Panhans says.

The majority of the children's families live at or below the poverty line. Both parents, if present at all, work hard to make ends meet.

A family has to manage with a mere 80 to 120 euros a month, with costs of living similar to Germany.

Despite poverty and difficult living-conditions the children are eager to learn. They actively embrace the support and help the Children's Village offers them. "We find this attitude encouraging", Panhans says.

In the future, the Children's Village will provide training opportunities for ambitious teenagers. Foto: humedica/Panhans

"In Germany, underprivileged teenagers are often pessimistic and listless. The children in Brazil, in contrast, show a strong will to battle against their poverty."

As an additional service, humedica arranges family sponsorships, which also give the opportunity to support individual family members. "It is encouraging to see how much this can benefit a child's personal development", Panhans reports.

"Apart from basic care, children are given access to education, which enables them to extricate themselves from poverty's vicious circle."

Would you like to sponsor a family in Brazil? Here you can find the necessary application form.

The Children's Village in Nova Friburgo offers its children prospects for the future. Foto: humedica/Panhans

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