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



During the 2016 and especially early 2016 there has been positive surprises in the area KIDS Support Groups of Blue Cross Brasil.

3 retraining sessions for leaders were performed:

1) Blumenau / SC with 13 participants,

2) Curitiba / PR with 28 participants, and

3) Witmarsum / SC with 5 participants.

In this period started 1 new of KIDS support group in the town of Witmarsum / SC and 1 new Group KIDS support in the city of Londrina / PR (the result of training conducted last year - 2015).

The biggest growth KIDS Support Groups is not in territorial coverage and number of new groups, but the number of children coming weekly in KIDS Groups that have more than one year of operation. For example the Group KIDS Support Blumenau (now with more than 35 participants) and the Group KIDS Support Ijuí-RS (at a meeting in rainy day, more than 30 participants).

Thank God for this gift he has given us and thank you for your support! We keep spreading the work even further, please join us.

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The year 2016 has started with great commitment and willingness to learn more about working together in the groups.

Within our groups family members have developed their skills to listen to each other and to communicate more effectively about their feelings and needs. The simple art of listening by seeking understanding requires practice. Instead of advising or trying to solve problems on other person’s behalf the power of being fully present has been practiced. Better communication skills reduce conflicts and creates strong bond between family members.

You may also like to practice some of these listening skills:

  • Ask clarifying questions, can you explain… what do you mean by… could you clarify… would you like to tell more… does anybody have a question
  • Enable positive self talk:
    • They say: I never do anything right-  You answer:  So you said  you tried your very best and it is hard for you as this time you did not succeed,
    • They say: I  procrastinate all the time- You say: So you say you really want to think it through carefully / you are putting a lot of effort to do the right thing   
  • Helping people to voice what they want:
    • So what is your wish for this situation
    • Let’s say you could just remove all from your way- what would be the first thing you would do
    • So what is your aim/ dream- how would you like it to be…


Mutual support is about believing that each person has the capacity to solve their own issues when they can process the issues constructively. Thanks to your support in Brazil this work is creating many happy families! 

Thank you for your continued support and we look forward to sharing more news with you in our next update!

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Group meeting in Rio Negrinho
Group meeting in Rio Negrinho

Dear friends and supporters,

2015 was an exciting year for the KIDS Support groups project in Southern Brazil. Blue Cross Brazil was able to hold seven training sessions for group leaders and they started five new groups in the region. One exciting new development was the inclusion of some missionaries from the New Tribes of Brazil in the “Reserva Guarita,” who are working with the Kiangang Indian tribes. Alcohol abuse is a big concern among this group and Blue Cross Brazil is developing new programs to target this population.

Two prevention activities were carried out in Nonoai Reserve, with indigenous ethnic Kaingang. The first was in July, where the coordinator of the KIDS Groups in Southern Brazil, Icarus, held a talk about prevention in a local school. On this occasion, the tribe requested Blue Cross Brail to carry out additional awareness events in the indigenous area. As a result, in November, the coordinator and the whole Blue Cross Prevention team of Blue Cross Brazil carried out some additional activities in the same reservation with younger students and parents in cooperation with the Mission Suzane do Valle, the New Tribes Mission in Brazil that has been operating for 37 years.

One mother who attends self-help groups and has a young daughter told us: “I really want to be able to bring my daughter back to the KIDS Groups. Shortly before my relapse, I left to come to the group. When I called her (my daughter) every time, I complained of a headache and stomach pain. She thought it was strange. But now I realize that she saw that I was not well and at risk for relapse. I know she needs help from the KIDS Groups too because it is the only place where she can play and feel safe.”  Edervã - resident Panambi

It is important for children whose parents are suffering from addiction to have a place to turn, where they can feel safe and talk about their struggles at home. Having a parent who is dependent on alcohol or drugs can be very confusing for a child. When one person in the family is suffering from addition, the whole family is affected by the harm it causes, which is why the KIDS groups are such an important development to the work of the Blue Cross in Brazil.

We thank you for your continued support and look forward to sharing more updates with you throughout the year!

Group meeting in Sao bento so sul
Group meeting in Sao bento so sul
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"The meeting starts at seven-thirty, but it’s 6 pm and it’s already packed!” The children and family members are excited to join the KIDS Support Groups, where they are able to spend time among peers and counsellors who understand their situation at home and the daily struggle of living with an addict.

The family is fundamental to the success of treatment. When addiction takes hold on a person’s life, “it takes a village.” Addiction destroys families - It causes shame, embarrassment and pain. But with the help of the KIDS Support Groups, there is hope for children who live in a family where one or more parent is addicted to alcohol or drugs. They are able to gain a better understanding of their loved one’s addiction and learn how to support the recovery process. Most importantly, they develop a network of support for their own suffering and learn how to deal with all the negative consequences of addiction.

One mother told us of her daughter’s participation: "One thing I noticed is that she was very afraid of being alone. She could not be alone in a room in the house. Even to go to the bathroom, someone needed to go along. If not one came along she would wet her pants. But after she started attending KIDS Support Groups, this changed. Today she goes to the bathroom alone and is in other rooms in the house alone with tranquillity."

The groups in Southern Brazil continue to thrive and we are pleased that participation is so strong. E. Ristow, Coordinator of the Support Groups for Blue Cross Brazil told us “I realize more and more the importance of offering KIDS Support groups for family and children of drug addicts who come to our meetings. They need a proper place, where they can use their own language, where they will be respected and cared for. Also, I feel very satisfied when I see children who are in orphanages or shelters participating in the KIDS Groups. That to me is very special because I'm sure the KIDS Groups will do well for them."

We also wanted to share with you that this summer the Blue Cross of Brazil celebrated 20 years of heartfelt, dedicated service to helping families and individuals who suffer from addiction-related harm. The network in Brazil is growing and strong and we look forward to another 20 years to come!!

Thank you for your continued support and we look forward to sharing more news with you in our next update!

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Dear supporters,

We are happy to share some news with you from Brazil, an update of the KIDS Support groups. In this report, we focus on the training of the group leaders, as working with children is a special discipline that requires proper understanding of childhood development and the relevant issues involved with substance abuse. 

A social worker from Blue Cross Brazil told us the following about the behaviour of the children: “The behaviour after some meetings changes. They begin to smile more, play more, and speak more freely about their difficulties and families.”

Training is necessary to ensure that all leaders understand what type of behaviour to expect from children of dependents as well as the stages of childhood development and how to motivate the children to participate. Leaders must be able to clearly define issues related to the rights of the child, situations in which this right is violated and how leadership can act in the face of such violations.

Another KIDS Group leader told us “I didn’t use to like children. I started to frequent the Support Group for adults interested in getting to know and help people with real problems. I soon received the invitation to take the training of facilitator of KIDS, and there, even having gone against my will, I fell in love. I noticed that the pain of the co-dependent children was especially remarkable, so I decided not to get neglectful. And God has enlightened me miraculously, making the children get attached to me which motivated me even more to believe in this work.”

Working with children who often have feelings of shame, anger and isolation requires a special kind of person and we are grateful to all the volunteers who dedicate their time to ensuring that these children have a place to turn to in their time of need. We are also grateful to all the supporters of this special project for their contributions!

Thank you

Mischa Rychener

Fundraising and Networking Officer


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International Blue Cross

Location: Bern - Switzerland
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @BlueCrossTweets
Project Leader:
Anne Babb
Bern, Bern Switzerland
$4,046 raised of $13,000 goal
93 donations
$8,954 to go
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