There are many terrifying realities that force countless children onto the streets: domestic violence, being orphaned or abandoned, or simply belonging to dysfunctional families.
For most there is no way back.
In the city of Rio, close to 1.5 million people – around 23-24% of the population – live in favelas.
Surrounding Santa Teresa, the area in which Casa Jimmy is located, there are at least 14 favelas, each differing in size and each with its own internal problems, as well as problems erupting between each other and the police on a regular basis. While there is a great sense of community it comes with a lot of poverty, often unavoidable violence. Children and young people are especially at risk, spending a large amount of time on the streets. The well-known problem of drug trafficking in these areas not only causes armed violence, but the steady stream of and easy access to drugs means that parents and even children can become addicted or involved in the trafficking itself very easily. The lack of services provided by the government such as sanitation, clean water as well as social assistance for domestic abuse and mental health problems leaves many parents unable to raise their children in a healthy environment.
Last year Rio was named Brazil’s murder capital, with a homicide rate of 39 per 100,000, nearly double the already high national average. The catastrophic violence leaves many families without caregivers or financial providers and struggling to feed and care for themselves. This is when older children are forced to work instead of attending school. They will often spend their time begging if they cannot find work or turn to escalating levels of criminal activity and live permanently on the street..For a young person in a favela this is a dangerous place to find themselves and is why Task Brasil tries hard wherever possible to work with the families as a whole.
Because of this, Casa Jimmy has become a crucial haven in the development of so many children and young people from the surrounding areas. We provide a safe, clean, healthy environment which they can attend 6 days a week to keep them away from the harsh reality of life on the streets of Rio. We aim to develop both the educational and emotional wellbeing of each and every child, giving them options for an alternative future than the one which they are surrounded with.
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