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Protecting the rights of Brazil’s most vulnerable children and young people

Every day thousands of boys and girls are affected by what is happening in Brazil. This is an economic crisis, a health crisis and there are conflicts around the provision of food and education.

As always crisis affects the poorest of the poor. Often their rights are at risk of not being fulfilled. Happy Child believes that all children and young people should have the right to fulfil their full potential by accessing health services, good educational opportunities, protection services and support for their families. For this reason we are working with Christian partners supported by local churches who are delivering in these areas.

A Parliamentary Monitoring Committte that examined investment and expenses by the Brazilian Education Ministry in 2020 found that there was an “abrupt and inexpressible decrease in federal resources in different areas of education, in a year in which the federal education budget should have been revised to address new challenges, such as student connectivity and implementation of health policies” Human Rights watch June 2021. This is just one example which exemplifies the present crisis.

Happy Child’s partners have worked hard to deliver health and hygiene programmes with two initiatives since the outbreak of the pandemic. These have been the operation of volunteer community health clinics where Doctors have attended vulnerable children and young people to address routine medical issues and provide guidance from health professionals on hygiene and healthy eating. There has been the distribution of hygiene kits to low income families and the provision of water sanitation stations in the community.

Happy Child’s partners provided educational clubs for the children and young people in the vulnerable communities they serve. They have hosted these in small groups with social distancing in place. “In November 2020 5 million boys and girls aged between 6-17 did not have access to education. Of these children 40 % were aged 6 – 10, a group that had a universal education prior to the pandemic” UNICEF report 21/12/2021.

A proportion of these children would have been children from families on or below the poverty line. Its been vital that our partners deliver such initiatives in fragile communities where educational opportunities have been severely disrupted. One of our partners has also provided a mentoring and skills training programme for preparing over 15’s for the work place. Young people in low income families finding work helps lift vulnerable families out of poverty and stabilises family income and resources.

Food security has been a huge issue for low income families and Brazil is still recovering from the impact of the pandemic. Our Christian partners provided basic food baskets to hundreds of families throughout the pandemic, kept families afloat and prevented children and young people from going hungry.

As Brazil recovers from the global pandemic help us to continue delivering effective programmes with the collaboration of our partners. These programmes ensure the rights of children and young people are being met on a daily basis.

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