Project Tamandaré assists 400 vulnerable children and young people. They also help 300 families in the Tamandaré communities of Oito Zero and Estrela do Mar. The project’s main focus is providing full time early education for 200 children aged 2 to 5 years old and complimentary education for 200 children aged 6 to 15 years old. Padre Arlindo and his diocese continue to play a key role in advancing the project’s reach. Here we continue to discover more about his dreams for the children, young people and their families.
His dream for the children
My dream for the children is that they turn into good dads and mums, that they live with dignity. My dream is that when they have completed their time here, that the hard work will put food on the table for them; that they will be able to hug their own children; that their children will have enough to eat so that they can do their homework; and that their children’s children will also have enough to eat so that they can study and make a life for themselves. That is my dream and my vision.
We often ask whether there is a difference between the child who comes to us and the child who doesn’t. We have schools in the area but I think the educational difference the project makes is through the support we give to the children’s families. We have Social Assistants and Psychologists on the team who work with the families.
The role of the families
Personally, I think the family environment greatly influences a child. However, it should not determine the outcome of a child’s life. Every child should have the possibility to choose what they want to do. We want our young people to leave here and be able to compete in the job market. If a child can’t do maths and can’t read and write, then it will be difficult for him or her to establish a good income. For myself I never stopped doing my homework and studying hard. Despite my circumstances, I got myself an education and a vocation.
His hope for the future
I believe that God prepares us for everything that happens in our lives. It’s ok for us to recognize when we are victims. What we can do then, is overcome these difficult experiences so that we will inspire others. This project is not mine. It also does not belong to our team. I believe that the hand of God is on it.
Interview conducted with Father Arlindo and Translated by Caroline Taylor