Caring at a distance
Brazil is still seeing rising cases of coronavirus, with poor interior towns, like the ones in which we work, hit hard. Just in Medina there have been over 100 infections and three deaths. Our four Pink Houses have been closed to normal activities along with the community lockdown, but our incredible all-female teams have been creative and hard-working in seeking to main contact and care for our girls, with regular online discussions, activities, competitions, one-to-one contact to give help and advice, and home visits. They've even continued celebrating the girls' birthdays! (above) Here are some of the ways we have continued to make the girls feel loved, protected and valued during these difficult times...
Our teams in Medina and Candido Sales put on online dance competitions, in which the girls sent in videos of themselves dancing, which were judged by professional dancers and choreographers. Prizes were awards for gold, silver and bronze places.
Our Pink Houses in Padre Paraiso and Catuji continued dance lessons in online video sessions. The girls who completed the course got a certificate and present (above).
Our team in Candido Sales also put on online art and make-up lessons.
Every ten days our teams visit every girl, delivering something delicious like a cake, biscuits or hotdog. The visits help us assess if the girls are safe, need to talk, or have any other needs, as well as build bridges with their families. This week our team in Medina discovered that one of the girls is sleeping on the floor in the same room as her mother and her partner, so mobilised Brazilian supporters and bought her a bed! Our team in Padre Paraiso also delivered arts kits to allow the girls to be creative and express themselves during lockdown.
June sees the traditional Sao Joao harvest festival in Brazi, which we normally mark with a party in the Pink Houses. In Candido Sales, where the annual event is culturally strong, the team prepared boxes with everything the girls needed to put on the annual party in their homes.
Our other Pink Houses also delivered traditional Sao Joao foods to the girls' homes during the days when the festival would normally run.
Twice a week our teams host online discussions around themes that affect the girls' lives, as they used to every day in the Pink Houses. The girls participate by sending their own thoughts, videos and photos.
Last week's discussion in Medina was about 'empowerment of women' (above). These have often led to girls opening up about their own lives, and fruitful one-to-one discussions in private messages between girls and staff.