In the town of Fazenda Rio Grande on the outskirts of Curitiba in southern Brazil, our affiliated project Centro de Assistência e Desenvolvimento Integral (CADI) supports families who struggle to afford even the most basic of needs – and especially education-related expenses - for their children. What began in 1994 as a soccer school to motivate and assist children from low-income families has now become CADI – a national nonprofit organization that provides assistance and developmental support to kids and families. The CADI center’s mission is to motivate and equip deserving children to rise above the difficulties they face, and to overcome poverty as adults.
The CADI center serves about 300 children on a regular basis, and it offers classes in robotics, arts and crafts, civics and ethics, martial arts, circus performance, and several other subjects that help children to develop the abilities and skills that are required to become successful adults. It also provides tutoring opportunities for kids, and houses sports teams that students may join.
Many of the children who go to the center after school live in nearby neighborhoods, and are abused and suffer severe violence in their own homes. Some of the kids in our sponsorship program are vulnerable to witnessing drug abuse at home or in the community, and some of them suffer from health problems. Most of the children come from broken homes where they live with just their mother, or with a stepparent or grandparent.
Believing in her own potential
On a recent trip to Brazil, our International Projects Specialist, Andreia Beraldo, visited the CADI center, which is located about forty minutes from downtown Curitiba. Visiting the center was very special for Andreia, because our Volunteer Coordinator there, Arianny, used to be a sponsored child at the project herself.
Arianny is a great example of how sponsorship assistance can make a big difference in a child’s life. She started attending the CADI center when she was only four years old, right around the time her parents divorced. While she was growing up, she received support from her sponsor and the center, and her parents attended counseling sessions at CADI. While meeting with one another, Arianny mentioned to Andreia that as a result of the counseling her parents received while she was growing up, they decided to re-marry, and their family is once again united.
As she became older, Arianny learned about ethics and arts and crafts, and she acquired a variety of skills at the CADI center. As a teenager, she became interested in social work, and decided to volunteer at the center to help other children who were growing up in impoverished families, like she did. When she graduated from high school, she started studying social work at a local university.
After graduating from college in 2015, Arianny became an intern at a local hospital. In 2016, the CADI center hired her as a social worker. As she told her story to Andreia, Arianny became emotional, because thanks to the CADI center and the support she received from Children Incorporated, she learned to believe in her own potential, and she grew up with hope for the future and a positive perspective in life.