Movimento de Saude Mental Comunitaria do Bom Jardi

The Movimento de Saude Mental Comunitaria do Bom Jardim (MSMCBJ) was initiated in 1996 as part of the outreach of the Comboni Missionaries in the Northeast of Brazil. MSMCBJ seeks to improve the lives of the people of the economically impoverished peripheral regions of Fortaleza, primarily the area of Grande Bom Jardim. To imagine a mental health project in a peripheral neighborhood like Bom Jardim, where the majority of people live in at-risk circumstances - in which extreme poverty, violence, a lack of housing and basic sanitation, street children, and unemployment predominate - is to believe that, even within pain and suffering, we can harvest flowers. That is, personal and social realit...
Feb 4, 2015

2014 - A Year of Success!

First Indigenous Youth Camping Trip
First Indigenous Youth Camping Trip

Hello MSMC supporters!

We are back with more great news. During these months, MSMC continued its mission to help indigenous youth in Ceará, as well as expand its work to other indigenous communities in Brazil.

Remember that the focus of this project is to inspire indigenous youth to dream and to go after their dreams. MSMC helps them achieve their dreams through educational and professional support, among other forms of assistance.

We begin by highlighting the story of Judimar (Juca) Fernandes.

A little background first: In 2012, members of the MSMC team visited some indigenous tribes in the Amazons. Among the tribes was the Dessana, which is the last tribe along the Black River (Rio Negro), right on the border with Colombia.

During their visit with the Dessana, MSMC team members met many youths who had given up on having dreams; they lived without ambition and some even contemplated suicide. But one young man they met, Judimar (Juca) Fernandes, thought differently.

Since November, Juca has been pursuing his dream to complete a technical certificate program in IT. He has made significant sacrifices to make this happen, even temporarily moving from his small, Amazonian village to the city of Fortaleza, Ceará (where MSMC is located) to attend classes. Congratulations Juca on your commitment to your dream!

Per usual, MSMC has stayed very busy. Over the last few months, MSMC has accomplished the following:

  • Enrolled new students in various technical programs at the Technical School of Maracanaú
  • The spiritual leader Pajé Barbosa participated with MSMC in the First Seminar on Indigenous Peoples and Mental Health
  • Held the first Indigenous Youth and Traditional Communities of Ceará Camping Trip
  • 2 Pitaguary indigenous youths have graduated from the technical program in Nursing
  • Various home visits to Pitaguary families from Monguba and Santo Antônio, in which medical and psychiatric services were provided when necessary
  • Art, music, and culture workshops for 15 youths at the Indigenous Cras Social Assistance Center, through the AME Maracanaú Project
  • Participation in various traditional festivals and community and spiritual rituals (Toré, Pajelança and Cabana de Suar, for example)
  • Offering of Christmas mass at the Monguba community, which included a distribution of toys to the local children

As you can see, 2014 was a busy, productive, and enriching year. MSMC focused on activities and projects that helped develop a sense of belonging to the community, valuing of one’s culture, and helping the youth get organized and dream big. Thank you for making this possible and we look forward to another year of great achievements with your continued support!

Juca wearing his IT program uniform
Juca wearing his IT program uniform
Sacred Pitaguary Dance
Sacred Pitaguary Dance
Izabela, graduate of the Nursing Technical Program
Izabela, graduate of the Nursing Technical Program

Links:

Oct 14, 2014

Educating, Partnering, Growing

Benicio, Pitaguary Youth
Benicio, Pitaguary Youth

June through September 2014

Hello supporters! We have great news to share. As always, MSMC is holding strong to its mission to lift up indigenous youth, and we have lots to show for it, so thank you for your partnership.

During these past few months, through the Empower Indigenous Youth project, MSMC has continued to develop its work with indigenous youth in Ceará, with its focus continuing to be EDUCATION: career training, technical skills-based classes, and socio-educational support to help them get to college and succeed there, as well as participation in events that promote and strengthen indigenous culture. 

MSMC does not rest! Activities completed this trimester:

  • Enrollment of students in various technical degree programs at the Maracanaú Technical School.
  • A visit from the Lakota Sioux tribe from Saint Francis, South Dakota: representatives Adam Little Elk and Wopila Badhand came to Fortaleza to participate in indigenous rituals that created a dialogue with the Lakota culture (e.g. the sacred sauna) and the strengthening of indigenous culture in Ceará through dances and rituals such as Pajelença, Torem and Toré.
  • Participation in community meetings and events that mark the promotion and celebration of human rights, health, education and the environment. Ex: National Gathering on Spirituality and Youth; Music, Ecology and Mountainous Culture Festival in Meruoca, Brazilian Independence Day, People of the Sea Gathering.
  • The indigenous leader Pajé Barbosa accompanied the MSMC team to the School of Public Health of Ceará for a roundtable on mental health and indigenous spirituality
  • 3 indigenous youth completed an English program and 8 completed a technical program to prepare them for careers in tourism
  • Provided support to Kanela indigenous people from Maranhão (sale of artisanal goods & transportation to the community)
  • Home visits to Pitaguary indigenous people
  • Medical and psychiatric help provided at the Indigenous Health center in partnership with the Indigenous Center for Social Assistance (CRAS)
  • Social-therapeutic support for 30 youth at the Communal Service Center at the Indigenous Center for Social Assistance (CRAS)

Conclusion: Between June and September of 2014, MSMC continued to keep indigenous youth as one of its focuses, engaging in many activities that involved partnerships with organizations in Fortaleza and Maracanaú. The goal continues to be to serve indigenous youth from all parts of Ceará through a systemic approach that nurtures the whole human being, addressing its biological, psychological, social, and spiritual dimensions. 

 

Mitakuye Oyasin

Îandé Memé Maranongara

Somos Todos Parentes

We are all related

Indigenous youth representing Ceara at conference
Indigenous youth representing Ceara at conference
Youth at People of the Sea Gathering
Youth at People of the Sea Gathering
Youth win Awards for Indigenous Literature
Youth win Awards for Indigenous Literature
Indigenous Youth from Brazil
Indigenous Youth from Brazil's state of Maranhao

Links:

Apr 17, 2014

Putting Education First

Indigenous Youth speaking at event
Indigenous Youth speaking at event

In 2014, MSMC has continued to develop its indigenous Pitaguary youth project with a focus on professional development and socio-educational support by helping the youth get into college, take technical courses, and prepare them for the job market. This project benefits youth ages 14 to 25 in the indigenous community of Maracanaú, Ceará, Brazil.

The last few months have been very busy! Take a look at some of the activities completed:

  • Student enrollment in new schools for 2014
  • Helping students with college entrance exams (ENEM, SISU, PROUNI)
  • Indigenous rituals in dialogue with the Lakota culture (sacred sauna) and strengthening of the Pitaguary community through the traditional Toré dance
  • Participation in community events that promote human rights, health, and indigenous and environmental education
  • Three students enrolled in a "vestibular" (like the SAT) college entrance exam prep course at Ari de Sá school in Fortaleza, with a focus on the Medicine major
  • Three students enrolled in an English class
  • Monthly meetings with parents and students to talk about program progress
  • 4 youths participated in the 13th Inter-ecclesiastical Meeting of Cebs in Juazeiro do Norte in Ceará, Brazil

As a final point, January through March of 2014 ended the scholarship programs that allowed students to study in private schools, so all current students in the program are studying in public schools. 6 have finished high school and 12 will finish in 2015. 

  

Participants in same Inter-ecclesiastical event
Participants in same Inter-ecclesiastical event

Links:

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