For a Brazilian child, from the working class, living in Recife, the following is a delicious plate of food: rice, beans, chicken, cooked veggies, and a small salad.
But most of the extremely poor children who roam the streets survive on “fake” food stuffs like hot dogs, chips, chocolate milk, biscuits, bread they receive here or there.
The everyday fare enjoyed by average income children is in fact, a special meal for the very poor.
Happy Child International’s vision has always been to work with children, young people, and their families. One of the aspects of living in a poor community is that most of the time the quality of the food available to the children is inferior, other times scarce and other times, downright dangerous due to the many risks of contamination they face.
Recent research indicates that there are 33 million people in Brazil living with food insecurity and that buying meat is considered to be a great luxury!
Things that we take for granted in the UK are not a given for these families in Brazil. Many families will not have a fridge or a freezer to store fresh produce. Other families working round the clock to reach a minimum wage will simply not have the time or the know how to produce a nutritional meal.
We believe it is important for the projects we support in Brazil to be able to provide essential food items to the families they assist. It is a known fact that poor nutrition in childhood is associated with both short and long-term adverse consequences such as a poorer immune system, growing less, poorer cognitive function and reduced learning ability.
Research indicates that the higher the food insecurity in a household the lower their educational attainment. At worst absenteeism, having to repeat a school year or dropping out of education altogether are far more likely if children and young people don’t eat properly or go hungry.
Educating children, young people and families about nutrition is a key aspect of the projects we are supporting. Focusing on a better diet helps strengthen a family’s health and builds resilience in terms of energy and well-being, increasing a child’s capacity to learn and flourish.
So, we will provide gift food boxes for some 400 families. It is important to remember that these boxes will tide families over until the end of the long school holidays when otherwise food insecurity could again become an issue.
We also believe that belonging to a loving family where adults care and provide for their little ones is the deeply held desire of most of the families reached by our partners in Recife.
This Christmas, the giving of Christmas gift boxes will be a symbol of our love and care towards these parents in the communities we support.
We will help them to provide a special meal on Christmas Day for their own. A hot meal, one with a good source of protein: a delicious meal to feed both the body and warm the heart.
Help us to reach our target goal of £2,000 this Christmas.