KIDS Support Groups in Brazil

by International Blue Cross
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KIDS Support Groups in Brazil
KIDS Support Groups in Brazil
KIDS Support Groups in Brazil
KIDS Support Groups in Brazil
KIDS Support Groups in Brazil
KIDS Support Groups in Brazil
KIDS Support Groups in Brazil
KIDS Support Groups in Brazil
KIDS Support Groups in Brazil
KIDS Support Groups in Brazil
KIDS Support Groups in Brazil
Online meeting for Kids
Online meeting for Kids

We all know that the children of today are the future of tomorrow. How we educate them, how we see and treat them and how we act around them, is going to shape the world of tomorrow. But not every child has the privilege to grow up in a healthy environment. In Southern Brazil alcohol abuse is a significant issue for a lot of parents. Children of alcoholics suffer from the consequences of being brought up upon alcohol. Facing social exclusion, developing mental illness or even becoming alcoholics themselves is a real threat to their future. The KIDS Support Groups in Brazil committed themselves to tackle this problem.

It is amazing to see how children attending the Support Groups start to change. Rubia Nehls, coordinator of the Kids Support Groups, talks about her experience with these kids. “Coming into the program the kids were really shy, had a low self-esteem and didn’t talk much, but after a couple of weeks, they opened up, started to talk and to play”. “But most importantly”, Rubia says, “they started to smile again”. You can tell they have changed, once you see the contagious joy in their face.

Due to Covid-19 the KIDS Support Groups adapted some of the meetings to online meetings. On the 3rd of September The Kids Support Group Jaraguá do Sul organized an online meeting to talk about the danger of spending too much time watching TV and gaming. It was a great opportunity to bond with the kids, listen to their stories and support them.

 

The kids were not the only ones connecting via the Internet. On the 3rd of October there was an online conference for staff workers of the KIDS Support Groups and volunteers who start a new program in Paulista, Pernambuco. It was great to hear about the major engagement for the new KIDS support group!

 

This is only possible by your generous support – Thank you so much for investing into the future of tomorrow.

Online conference for staff workers
Online conference for staff workers

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On June 23, 2020, the Blue Cross in Brazil celebrates 25 years since its foundation in 1993.

On Tuesday, there has been a small celebration. Due to the pandemic, in order to have the necessary distance, only part of the Cruz Azul team gathered, some members of the board, represented by President Rolf Hartmann and other representatives from different partner organizations from the Blue Cross Brazil were present.

It was a special moment of gratitude and joy, where souvenirs were also given to the collaborators who completed 10 years or more of work. A remarkable video of people participating in a support group of the Cruz Azul - Vidas Restauradas network, was shown, reporting their story and how they have been helped by the work of the Blue Cross Brazil.

Without a doubt, the greatest gift that the Blue Cross in Brazil has today are the people involved in the work, directly or indirectly: recovered lives, restored families, capacitated people, executive team, board of directors, councils, members, donors, volunteers! So many people throughout Brazil have been touched through the organizations mission: "For a Life, without drugs!

Concluding the historical and special moment, the president of Cruz Azul, also founder, Rolf Hartmann, thanked God for the care, direction, support, and growth of the work, and expressed his gratitude to all the collaborators, members, family and friends of Cruz Azul who together have supported and worked throughout the history of the entity, and also in the present times. He reminded everyone that the basis, value and foundation of the Blue Cross is people with faith and unconditional love for vulnerable people.

The Blue Cross Brazil thanks all its donors for their support in the last 25 years!

Let’s keep on together in the coming years!

Rolf Hartmann, President and Founder
Rolf Hartmann, President and Founder
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The consumption of alcohol is very strongly integrated into society. In many circles it is normal to take care of a child while drinking. People drink to build relationships, establish networks or dampen emotions. However, alcohol can be very harmful if it is not handled responsibly.

Drinking is omnipresent at festivals, including family celebrations such as birthdays, village festivals or Christmas. But what does one' s child, son or daughter, do during this time? Are the parents still equally quick in their reactions while drinking? Interactions can be altered by alcohol. People speak differently or say things they would not normally say. People become more melancholic, cry more often or fight with their partner. Alcohol can make discussions more tense and make people raise their voices. If kids are present they see how adults, parents and relatives, behave differently than before.

And what about the day after? How are the children treated when parents have a hangover? On such "days after " the patience of parents can be reduced. The care of oneself must be coordinated with the care for the children which might feel for both, the parent and the kids, as an extra burden.

Children are strongly influenced when they see their parents with a beer or bottle of wine regularly during the week or on weekend. If they see the same patterns every day, for example that stress is reduced by drinking or if sentences are formulated like: "I need a beer now to calm down" this gets internalized and leads to similar drinking behavior. Children will automatically combine happiness with alcohol if alcohol is consumed on all holidays and celebrations. Children take all the details around them at a very young age and adapt and imitate accordingly.

Children who grow up like this will consume excessive amounts of alcohol, especially in their teenage years. Parties will be celebrated with alcohol, which is what they saw as children among the "big ones". Now they are finally part of it and can have as much fun as mom and dad... Such thinking and drinking patterns should be stopped.

There are numerous campaigns on drink-driving. The car can no longer be steered properly due to alcohol consumption. But what about educating children at home while their parents drink? Doesn't one lose the "handlebars" if one looks after children while drinking?

The Blue Cross in Brazil has made it its mission to work with both parents and children. Through this intergenerational work, healthy family patterns can be created and the harm of imitating drinking behaviors stopped. Thanks for your donation!

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After the Christmas celebrations in the family circle, New Year follows. For some, the start of the year is full of goals, hopes and excitement for the events in the coming year. For others it is marked by worries and fears to be disappointed again through the incidents happening in the new year. For both groups it is worth making a "Dry January", a month completely without alcohol. Some learn to celebrate without alcohol, others are prevented from forgetting their sorrow through alcohol. 

The challenge of the "Dry January" goes back to the educational campaign of the organisation Alcohol Change UK. The campaign began in 2012 to address the dangers of alcohol and addictive behaviour. 4000 people started the task seven years ago, today there are millions worldwide who intend to give up alcohol in the first month of the year.

Researchers confirm that a non-alcoholic month can bring about health changes. The effects are particularly great for people who drink a lot. On average, they lost around two kilos, blood pressure dropped by five percent, the risk of diabetes was reduced by 30 percent, the immune system was strengthened and the liver was able to recover.

The Dry January especially helps to get new self-awareness about one' s alcohol consumption. This also influences family compositions. Children can be shown during this time which effects alcohol has on their health and behaviour. Children see their parents skipping the glass of wine in the evening or the beer during the football match. Since parents are also more rested and stable due to the health effects of alcohol renunciation, the Dry January (and alcohol reduction/non-drinking in general) leads to a time when family time is valued and one respects each other. 

In the coming year, the Blue Cross Brazil will continue to carry out activities for children who have experienced alcohol abuse at home. Through playful interactions, the children learn to overcome their experiences and formulate them in their own words. Campaigns support family work and stand up for the protection of children from alcohol. In January and throughout the year!

Thank you very much for your donation! Happy New Year 2020!

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169th parade in the city of Blumenau, Brazil
169th parade in the city of Blumenau, Brazil

At the Blue Cross Brazil numerous very exciting activities took place in September among the Kids support groups.

We would like to share some of them with you:  

  • On 2 September 2019, the 169th parade took place celebrating the foundation of the city of Blumenau. The Blue Cross participated and walked through the city with banners. The children and adults had a lot of fun. (Photo 1)
  • In the week from 9th to 15th September the topic "Emotions" was discussed in the kids support groups. The children watched a film together and then talked about their feelings. This serves as an exercise for children to learn to perceive and share their emotions. (Photo 2)
  • The children took part in a theme day at the end of September. The children were made aware of the danger of cigarettes in a playful way. A "mysterious" box served as entertainment. (Photo 3)


Thank you very much for your support in making such activities possible for children in Brazil! 

Project "Kids and Emotions"
Project "Kids and Emotions"
Kids day with the topic "Danger of Cigarettes"
Kids day with the topic "Danger of Cigarettes"
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International Blue Cross

Location: Bern - Switzerland
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Project Leader:
Anne Babb
Bern, Bern Switzerland
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