Everyday life or rather not?

by Rebecca Groß, Jasmin Eigemann,  2014/11/11

Brazil is a country of contrasts. Next to the economical surge structural poverty persists, next to the carefree lives of some the bitter struggle for existence of the others goes on. The humedica children’s village “Campo de Coelho” in the eastern part of the country supports children and teens of especially needy families and, with adapted programs, prepares them for an independent future.

At the moment, the local staff members are getting help from Rebecca Groß, the daughter of humedica managing director, Wolfgang Groß. Each day is another adventure for her and she gives us very enthusiastic reports about her experiences:

Planning is half the battle

The preparations for the humedica Christmas campaign „Geschenk mit Herz” are in full swing also here in Brazil. Because the children don’t get gift parcels from Bavaria, we buy those ourselves with the money from the donations.

Thus, I set out for Sao Pedro Aldeia, a town by the seaside, together with Magali, the head of the children’s day care center. We were heading towards a central market, where you get everything from dishes to gardening tools and stationary. Magali had already bought the presents of the last years there.

Magali has got her own system for the shopping: first she tells the store what we need, the shop staff then look into their warehouse to check what is on stock and they calculate the sum. Only then, Magali decides whether we are buying the things or not. Depending on the available budget.

Unfortunately, this year the prices have increased a bit and so we couldn’t buy backpacks for the children.

Moreover, this year all „Geschenke mit Herz“ presents are going to be distributed in the day-care center. Children from the surrounding schools are then coming to the “Campo do Coelho” and they are all receiving their Christmas presents at the same time. A feast I am already looking forward to. Moreover, this is less time-consuming for us, than to get to every single school by car. Only some nurseries are going to receive our visit.

Politics from the bottom

In line with the elections for presidency in Brazil, which have been reported on in all Brazilian news during the last weeks and months, we are organizing our own elections in the day-care center. During the last week, the day-care center has realized its own elections, in order to get the children involved and to get a feeling for these things. Those who wanted, could present themselves as candidates.

On Election Day each child got a pass with his or her name on it, which had to be signed beforehand. Like in a real vote there were voting cards with the candidates’ names on them. On the back of the card they could put a cross for their choice. The completed card was then put into a provisory ballot box, a simple box with a slit.

Already the next day the results were published and two children presidents were proclaimed. One for the morning group and another for the afternoon group. These presidents ought to stand for the children’s wishes in the future, like a class representative. I have not yet found out about their other tasks.

Strange delicacies

On October 12th, like every year in Brazil it was “Children’s Day”. In order to celebrate this day duly, I went to nearby Nova Friburgo together with Magali already some days before. In a facility for old and disabled persons there we were handed over donated biscuits, meant to be distributed to the children during the coming Children’s Day celebration. At all hazards my colleague Magali also bought more sweets in a local sweets shop. Just to be sure.

Four days later, the long longed for feast in the children’s day-care center took place. Already during my last visit to Brazil I could spend this special day here and this year, too, there were many attractions: water football and bouncing castles, but also sweets like cotton candy and popcorn.

Like last year, the children arrived at lunchtime – in the morning all staff members had been busy preparing the common lunch. Besides typical dishes like rice with beans, there was also the “Torta de pao”, which the children liked very much. This is a hearty cake, which seems a bit strange for us. It is prepared with bread, chicken, mashed potatoes, vegetables and cheese all put in layers, like lasagna or a layer cake. In any case, it tastes much better than it sounds.

At Christmas, offer a great joy to one of the children in our humedica children’s village “Campo do Coelho”. With a donation of only 10 € we buy a Christmas present they will remember their whole life for each child in the local shops. Thank you very much!

      humedica e.V.
      keyword „Geschenk mit Herz"
      account nb. 47 47
      bank code 734 500 00
      bank Sparkasse Kaufbeuren

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