Associacao de Apoio as Meninas e Meninos da Se

The mission of the Association is to develop projects and actions which defend and guarantee the rights of the child and adolescent. It works with children in situations of high risk, living on the streets, including pregnant teens and also at-risk children and their families in poor inner city communities. It provides services to, guides and accompanies these groups of individuals, all of whom suffer various kinds of violence, with the aim of empowering them to lead healthy, fulfilling lives.
Feb 20, 2012

Newborns in Sao Paulo

Project beneficiary
Project beneficiary

Dear Friends,

We’d like to say a very big thank you for your support of our project!

The last few months have been busy as usual and we’re delighted to let you know that five healthy babies have been born during this time - Júlia, Samuel, Cristofer, Caiane and Ítalo. Their young mums are taking very good care of them and are regularly attending our non-formal educational workshops and group therapy sessions. These are helping the mums understand how they can best care for their newborns and how, with determination and focus, they can make positive changes in their lives.

As a result of their participation in the project, the teen mums have said they feel much higher self-esteem and better understand their abilities, potential and limits. We, the project team, aim to help the mums keep moving forward in the face of the challenges that confront them and also to continuously encourage them to head in the direction of their dreams.

For sure, the young mums and their children will have a brighter future and we are all sincerely grateful to you for your help in making this possible.

 Wishing you a Wonderful 2012!

 Many thanks, muito obrigado,

From the project team.   

Sleeping beneficiary!
Sleeping beneficiary!
Nov 25, 2011

Positive Outcomes

Feeding time in a workshop
Feeding time in a workshop

Dear Friends,

Thank you so much for your generosity in donating to our project. Here, we’d like to let you know the story of a project beneficiary so you can see how important your support of our work is.

Maria is 19 years old and began to frequent the project when she was 3 months pregnant. She, like the majority of the attendees, has a life story of loss, drug use and family conflict. When she began to attend the project, her life circumstances were highly vulnerable. To earn a minimal amount, she distributed leaflets on the street advertising a nightclub and, as she had continuously fought with her mother, had left home and was without a place to live. She confided to the project team that many times, in order to get food, she had been forced to prostitute herself.

 In April of this year, the project team acted quickly to help her get her own ID (she had never had a Birth Certificate issued), so that she could then enroll in a program of pre-natal care at a public health clinic. The first pre-natal exams showed that she had an STD, so she immediately began treatment and, feeling very low, began to have contact with her mother again, who asked her to return home. This moment was decisive as Maria began to change her own behavior towards her mother and to help in the home, especially with her younger brothers and sisters.

During group therapy at the project, Maria explained that she was very happy to be living with her mother again and she had realized just how important a mother is in our lives. She also confided that she no longer used drugs and that this phase of her life had been overcome. She also came to the realization during therapy that she was repeating the story of her mother, saying, “…my mother raised us alone and now I see myself, the same as her, I’ll raise my child alone too”.  Maria had a baby boy at the beginning of October, she continues to live with her mother and is much calmer and more mature, with a greater sense of responsibility. She says her dream is to meet her own father, to return to studying and to work.

The project team has helped Maria through this process of change, supporting and orienting her every step of the way. In fact, the project attendees each have a story similar to Maria’s and all have the possibility for very positive and transformative change. 

On behalf of all the project beneficiaries, we’d like to thank you for your interest in and support of our work and to wish you a very happy end of the year!

Workshop with project psychologist
Workshop with project psychologist
Aug 30, 2011

Breaking the Cycle of Domestic Abuse

My name is Joshua Niederman. I am an In the Field intern visiting GlobalGiving partner organizations in Brazil. Read here about my recent visit to "Change Lives Of 100 High Risk Teen Mums In Brazil"

Associação de Apoio as Meninas e Meninos de Sé has been developing programs that foster the empowerment and social inclusion of children in São Paulo, Brazil for over 20 years. Surrounding the beautiful Catedral da Sé in the heart of the city, is an extremely poor area that suffers from the affects of drug-dealing, violence, and prostitution.   

Evaraldo Santos Oliveira founded the association here to protect young children from street violence, however the organization’s role has expanded to assist pregnant girls and teen mothers.  This unique program teaches girls about reproductive health, human rights, women’s rights and conflict resolution.  The program also offers legal and social assistance, and guidance to obtain a formal education and employment.

Evaraldo and his team of psychologists and social workers have a keen feel for the streets and the families that live there - “familias da rua.”  As he states, “you have to know the groups, because if the street brother or sister doesn’t go to the center, the child will not go either.”

I found evidence of this when I sat in on a class for pregnant girls.  Two of the girls were first cousins.  The elder sister of one of the girls had previously attended the program.  Vitoria, a psychologist, stood before the girls and led a discussion about a film that they had seen about a women who was sexually abused and reached her own freedom.  The girls discussed how Kiranjit Ahluwalia, the Punjabi woman in the film, had become free, what it meant to be free, and what her rights were in society. 

After the class, I sat down with the two cousins.  I asked them to tell me one thing that they had learned since coming to the center.  One of the girls said that she had learned that women have the same rights as men.  “What do you mean?,” I asked.  She said that before she had always thought that because men worked, they had more rights than women.  But after attending classes at the center, she had learned that she had the same rights as men.  The cousin stated that she had learned how to properly feed her newborn baby when he or she is born.  This is critically important.  According to Vitoria, many babies are fed crackers or breadcrumbs and lack the proper nutrients to live healthy and productive lives.

Vitoria represents a role model for these girls.  They learn from the class, but they also see in Vitoria that, as Afro-Brazilian women from poor backgrounds, they too can obtain an education, earn a living and help other women in their community.   The sense of solidarity of the women in the group was strong.  The association provides a support group for these girls at an extremely trying time in their lives. 

“We help the most needy of society,” said Evaraldo, “those that other organizations leave for want, in an area that is totally neglected by the state and society.” 

Your support on GlobalGiving for this educational program for girls in São Paulo helps break the cycle of teen pregnancy, poverty, drug abuse and domestic and sexual abuse.