The Operation Rescue centre in Patos in the poor northeast of Brazil opened its doors in August 2008. In the months before, the founding family Teixeira with a team visited the poor families in the neighborhood, in order to explain the project to them and to find out who among them were the poorest families who needed the most help. Of these families 210 children are now enrolled with us and visit the centre daily.
The children live as far as possible in their own family. They go to the local school in the mornings and spend the afternoons from Monday to Friday in our day care centre. This is offered to children of kindergarten and school age. The attractive after school program should stop them spending their free time on the streets. We want to provide the children with a better life now and in the future through targeted support. The program in the day care centre has the following options:
Sports, fun and games
Besides teaching, the children have plenty of time for leisure activities – they can just be kids, which sometimes is very difficult for them outside of our project. The possibilities are versatile:
– Sports: Soccer and Volleyball – we do have multiple soccer teams, which do participate from time to time in tournaments.
– Fun and Games: Board and card games, foosball, table tennis
– Creativity: Playing music, painting, doing handicraft work
– Swimming in our pool
– Playground with slide, swing and lots of sand
Every child of school age must be enrolled in a public school and must attend school regularly. The head of Operação Resgate maintains contacts with the children’s schools. Together they determine whether the children have made progress or not. If this is not the case, they try to find out why and come up with a plan to enhance the child’s learning progress.
The teachers monitor continuously whether there is a lack of school supplies. Teachers, volunteers or employees primarily support the children and teenagers who have difficulties in the regular school. They meet separately with them and help them with their homework. There is a daily tutoring lesson in mathematics, languages and other subjects. The children get the information they need for their homework in our library and in the internet.
Professionals from Operação Resgate, volunteers or other guests educate regularly about topics such as personal hygiene, drugs, sexual education, etc.
We offer the children twice a day a warm meal – for many it is the only meal they receive on that day. With us the children should not have to fight for getting their basic needs satisfied. They should be able to enjoy their childhood, have time for fun and games. They should be able to focus on learning – but how is that possible with an empty stomach?
Although the meals for our children meet the local conditions, they still have to be as well-balanced as possible. In Brazil, the menu is diverse. The staple food rice and beans are a valuable source for minerals, proteins and iron. Thanks to food donations we can enrich the diet with fruits, vegetables and sweets.
Health and hygiene
The children and teenagers have access to basic medical and hygiene advice in the project centre, as well as medical and dental check-up and psychological assessment whenever necessary. The results of the consultation will be kept in the files of the children. In addition, the teachers keep an eye on the personal hygiene of every child and teenager. The children can take a shower in our facility, receive bandages for smaller injuries and get a treatment in cases of lice infestation. To the most needy we also distribute clothes.
Our 22-member fanfare and percoussion band, which is accompanied by 6 dancers, had several appearances recently: On September 7th at the annual festival parade for the Independence Day, in October during an appearance of all fanfare groups of the region in the city center and a performance of various bands at a private school.
Schools and organizations use their bands to represent themselves. It is fantastic to see the dedication and pride of the individual members which results repeatedly in dignified and outstanding performances! Many of the young people found a taste for music through the program at Operation Rescue and had the opportunity to play an instrument for the first time in their lives.
Judo classes within the daily routine are a great way for children to learn how to concentrate and control themselves physically and mentally. Judo has a lot to do with self-discipline and this can help the children in their future. Many of our boys fulfilled already their dream of winning a medal at interregional competitions.
Social commitment and external activities
Our staff organized celebrations at “Mother’s Day”, “São João”, “Children’s Day” and “Christmas”.
We also take part in the annual demonstrations against child prostitution and child labor. The fanfare band and dance groups often get opportunities to show their skills at local events. Usually our children are very successful. They also take part in judo competitions and play in the local football league. Operation Rescue works together with the Commissions “Direito da Criança e do Adolescente” (Rights of Children and Adolescents),”Anti-Drogas”(Against Drugs) and the social services. Our representatives are very important contact points in the mentioned offices. Through their expertise, experience and independence they are an important and indispensable voice in these bodies.
Prevention and security
An important tool of our work is prevention. Thanks to the hard work of our devotional staff the organization will receive its greatest reward in the future: to see how life changes for the children in Operation Rescue enabling a life of dignity, free of violence, drugs and hopelessness. It will be a pleasure to see how the children are using the tools we have given them to recognize dangers and are able to avoid them and overall become productive members of society!
Our centre provides protection and security. The day care centre and the Casa Lar are surrounded by walls. We act in emergency situations and contact immediately the police or the social services in cases of suspected child abuse. Sometimes the parents turn to us if their children are forced by dealers to distribute drugs. So we have been able to protect already many children.