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Ministry Highlight: Brazil
Posted By Web Team On September 23, 2011 @ 1:41 am In Country Staff | 4 Comments
We began our ministry in Brazil in 1987 with the Child Sponsorship Program. In 2007, we started the Leadership Development Program.
The ministry in Brazil is beginning to expand into the northeast region of the country. This is exciting because most Brazilians aren’t aware of the extreme poverty that exists in that area.
Susete Cardoso was invited to work in the Finance Department when our office opened in 1987. After joining the ministry, Susete studied accounting and received a Master’s in Information Technology.
Prior to this, she volunteered in an organization that partnered with our ministry. In 2003, Susete was appointed Brazil’s Country Director.
Shortly after accepting Christ at age 18, Susete decided to study theology in seminary.
She took courses that focused on evangelism to children. Through these courses, she volunteered in public schools to share Jesus with children.
Implementing Church Partners
Implementing Church Partners are local churches with whom we work to deliver our child development program and ministry in the field.
It is projected that 25 percent of the population, or just over 48 million people, will declare themselves as evangelicals in 2011.
However, neo-Pentecostal sects and atheism are growing as well. Some neo-Pentecostal sects are particularly challenging because they target the poor population with the idea that they should give money to God and the church so that God will be good to them.
For example, Implementing Church Partners located in metropolitan areas are more focused on programs offering employment opportunities; while in rural areas, Implementing Church Partners focus on issues such as nutrition or security because famine and abandonment in these areas are more prevalent.
Also, it can be difficult to preach the Gospel to the isolated people of Brazil.
Child Sponsorship Program
Your sponsorship of a child in Brazil provides a variety of benefits.
The centers also hold Health Week, which is a time where the center educates children and their parents about hygiene and disease prevention. Medical checkups are encouraged and the child development centers bring in health professionals to speak on topics such as malnutrition, prevention of disease, and self-care.
In addition, the child development centers conduct social responsibility campaigns to raise awareness in their communities about disease prevention, such as dengue, and other social issues.
Our objective for vocational training courses is for adolescents to find employment and to be able to help support their families and/or be self-supporting after completing the Child Sponsorship Program and high school. Some students may be able to fund continued schooling with theses skills.
Adolescents are typically involved in skills workshops, such as hairdressing, nails, information technology, and office skills.
There are many adolescents who are now self-supporting as a result of their vocational training in the child sponsorship program.
Parents are also encouraged to join in the bigger events, such as Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Children’s Day celebrations, etc.
Leadership Development Program
When a child turns 18 years old, his family expects him to work and help out with family expenses. Each student’s work situation is often dependent on the family’s socio-economic situation.
The smaller Leadership Development Program meeting occurs with small groups also called “alliance groups.” Alliance groups are led by Leadership Development Program students and exist to provide emotional, spiritual and social support. Students also meet with their mentors at this time.
The cognitive ability curricula helps to encourage the students to achieve their best academic performance. And, spiritual life curricula encourages commitment to biblical principals and holy living, which includes abstinence.
We feel that these three topics are extremely relevant to our Leadership Development Program students. Due to poverty, many youth do not believe in their potential and underestimate themselves.
Lastly, many students experience sexual temptation as well as temptation to compromise integrity when they attend university. For these reasons, we cover the three topics listed above.
Our core Child Sponsorship Program, while comprehensive, does not address all obstacles to a child’s healthy development. The Complementary Interventions program was created to work with our holistic child development model to provide additional services, such as our AIDS Initiative, funds for Bibles for All Children, disaster relief  and water projects.
Complementary Interventions in Brazil are typically used for education, curriculum and infrastructure.
Highly Vulnerable Children
Children who are abused or exploited and attend the child development center receive trauma counseling, legal counseling and medical care.
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