I read an interview in De Standaard (newspaper, DS-22/10/2005, Katrijn De Vos) with a woman who has such a practical view on the problem of street kids in Brazil, that I immediately thought “yes, to donate money to that project is useful”. Dalila Gerlani dares to call a spade a spade : “Some kids can not be helped anymore : it are murderers, carrying around with huge guns and a giant drug addiction”. “Girls living on the street get pregnant at their 11th !! It would be better for them if they got sterilized.”
She was a street kid herself and now is in charge of two homes for children, Favos del Mel I and II (beehives). They keep the children of the street, provide them with food, education and a home. And they work with the adults as well : informing them about birth control and pointing them on their responsibility.
This woman takes action and struggles to change the world !
More info + how to donate !!! : www.kinderenvanrio.org
Abandoning children is of all times and places. I visited the Maagdenhuis in Antwerp (16th century building), a girl’s orphanage from 1353 until 1882. It is a small museum but with touching items. There is a poor reconstruction of a foundling drawer with on the back a scrap of paper, but what it says !! Babies were put in the drawer by mothers who had no means to take care of the child, but obviously hoped to get their child back one day ! Very often there was an item on the baby such as a playing card or a picture of a saint - sometimes something was written on it- ripped in two parts with irregular sides : one part for the baby, one half for the mother. That way the mother could find her child again by matching cards. All items found on the babies were kept and registered in detail. A little note : “This child is not baptized. But she listens to the name xxx Signed : XX (two capitals)” in a glass cabinet, together with tiny clothes and caps (I look at the hand-made stitches and how the pieces of tissue are put together and I see care in it), porridge bowls and spoons, a list of what the orphans and foundlings got to eat, … The children were subjected to severe rules, were not allowed to leave the home, but got food, clothes ( a uniform), a place to sleep and an education. The care of the poor in cities was made possible by donations of rich civilians (charity) and often undertaken by religious communities.