Offering new prospects and a future
Logistics provider DACHSER has joined forces with children’s aid organization terre des hommes to work on projects in Brazil as well. There, the focus is on a subproject called “Children’s rights create the future,” which has been running successfully since 2015 at the CEDECA children’s rights center in Limeira, a troubled city in the federal state of São Paulo close to the metropolitan region of Campinas, which is home to millions of people.
For many children and young people, Limeira is a tough place to grow up: drug trafficking, organized crime, and military police operations are part of everyday life. As a result, Limeira holds the unfortunate record in the state of São Paulo for the proportion of youths who have clashed with the law.
Together with terre des hommes and local authorities, since 2015 DACHSER has been supporting educational and recreational activities that are intended to offer young people a different path through life. “For DACHSER, global growth also means taking responsibility on a global scale and fighting to improve the living conditions of those who don’t benefit from globalization to the same extent. That’s why DACHSER, together with the terre des hommes aid organization, is active on behalf of children and young adults,” says Bernhard Simon, DACHSER CEO.
The CEDECA children’s rights center in Limeira supports children and young people as they fight against criminal activity and drug addiction. Direct educational work with youth in neighborhoods with acute social problems aims to strengthen their resilience in a bid to actively safeguard them against violence and crime.
A major part of this is raising awareness among children, young people, their families, and local government representatives of children’s rights. For all project participants, this is a key tool in the prevention of violence—children and young people are to become visible allies of a culture of peace.
A look at Brazilian youth in the coronavirus pandemic
Brazil has also been hit hard by the coronavirus crisis. As the number of cases rises, quarantine measures are conflicting with public denials of the crisis, all of which exacerbate the political, social, and economic situation. Once the virus spreads to the favelas—the slums of Brazil’s major cities—the consequences will be impossible to predict.
In such difficult times, what does the work of an aid organization like terre des hommes look like? After all, such work is usually characterized by closeness to people, which isn’t possible at the moment. In Brazil, the workers on the terre des hommes project continue to hold talks, offer information, and involve the young people. Information about things like where to pick up food donations is shared on social media and WhatsApp. Important health measures are explained and help is offered to people in all kinds of situations.
Even as the pandemic threatens to undermine the previous characteristics of the project, the informal social structures and the feeling of mutual solidarity deepen the bond between young people and their families. The participants are trying to view the current situation as an opportunity to further strengthen the sense of community and solidarity, as that is the only way for all to emerge from the crisis together.