Children with cancer that live in Brazil. They are selected weekly by one of 35 associated hospitals.
What is the goal of the Project?
To restore self-esteem through happiness and fun and show these children that they can smile again, their cancer can be healed, they can play, eat well, and receive love from people who are willing to love them, but the most important thing is motivating the children to continue fighting the disease.
How does the project work?
During eleven months a year, early Monday morning we pick up a group of these children. Each child brings two adults and a younger brother or sister totalizing almost fifty people. Until Friday afternoon, they are accommodated in hotels and visit amusement parks, cinemas, beaches, museums, …accompanied by professionals and duly trained volunteers.
What about a follow-up?
We keep in touch with the children even after the end of this week, through an ongoing exchange of letters and phone calls, surprise birthday parties in their homes plus a big annual encounter in October.
1) we also teach them basics of sewing, carpentry, english, music, computers and arts and crafts. We supply all the materials necessary and in a short time they surprise us with beautiful things they have produced.
The results of these courses have been very gratifying since many adults and older children are selling their products and making nice money.
These courses are not restricted only to the week the group is with us but they can return anytime they want and also enjoy a complete hot meal and a refund of the bus fare.
2) The above opportunities are available to any family (in these conditions) who has heard about this service. We also refund their bus fare and give them a complete hot meal during the hours they spend with us.
3) When we discover a child with special talents we encourage their development in various manners and we pay for the courses necessary.
4) In the past two years we have started to fix up the houses where these families live. We install windows where there was only a hole in wall, change the wiring, install basic sanitary equipment and do a quick painting of the house.
In May 2005 we bought 45 acres of land, located 55 minutes from S. Paulo, it has five lakes, woods, etc.
Since November of 2006 we have been using the installations during the daytime.
The camp is located in S. Lourenço da Serra also called “the city of nature” due to its vast forests and large amounts of mineral waters.
The natural resources and wildlife are preserved by many laws and regulations in the area.
Here, every child can participate in any activity since everything is planned and built considering their handicaps.
It is a place where they can simply be kids and not sick children.
Some of the highlights of the camp include:
a) A “train” which are really wooden carriages pulled by a “locomotive” which transports the children from our buses when they arrive at gate into the main building and also takes them all over the camp grounds since some children can’t walk and others tire very easily.
b) Big wooden “toys” for the playground. These are made to order for children with problems.
c) In the forest which occupies 60.000 square meters, we have made paths for those who can walk to see unbelievable scenes of nature including the source of a natural spring.
d) We have an Ecologic Center where the children can see:
1) A water wheel;
2) Solar heating;
3) Aeolic energy;
4) Recycling of rain water;
e) A small Zoo;
f) Pony and carriage rides;
g) Pedal boats;
h) Basketball, tennis and soccer courts.
This experience will make them stronger, happier and healthier and this is what they will take back with them as they face the challenges of life.
Families are accompanied by volunteers to hotels. After breakfast, they go to a
children’s buffet, where a psychologist and a theater artist, dressed as clowns
make them happy and relaxed.
At night, volunteers visit families in hotels and give to children the mascots
of the Project: art kit.
This contact is very important because it helps to feel more safe during their
stay at the hotel.
Tuesday – Camp
The contact with nature has an imesurable value in their lives by giving
encouragement and strength to continue in treatment and overcome all obstacles
resulting from the disease.
Wednesday and Thursday – Every week a different place
Visit the Gol Airlines, Aquarium of Guaruja, Memorial de Santos, Santos
Aquarium, Cinema, NeoGeoWorld, Football Museum …
At wednesday night, volunteers visit families in hotels and give to children
the mascots of the Project: Kiko and Kika dolls.
The closure of the activities are conducted in our head office, by the same
clowns who received them on Monday. It carried a group dynamic where we
remember everything that happened during the week. Each family receives a photo
album of the week. Parents have classes in nutrition, while the children listen
to stories told by volunteers. Before lunch, words of encouragement and
messages support are provided to the families. At the farewell they get a giant
bag with pillows, blankets and treats.