A letter from one of our donors, Michele Yakashiro, on her latest visit to Brazil to work with the MORE Project.
When I started to think about what to write for this article I thought to myself, “what would I want to know if I were a sponsor?” Then I realized; I am a sponsor! I sponsor two children through the MORE Projects’ Sponsor-A-Child program. In fact, my first trip from Vancouver, Canada to this beautiful country of Brazil solidified my continued contributions to the project. I discovered a loving and nurturing environment where the kids can come and learn, be fed and most importantly be loved. The slum that these children live in is dangerous and volatile. Many of them have seen things that no child should ever have to see and have felt pain that no child ever deserves to feel. I am currently volunteering as an English teacher at the Take-Off Program; an offshoot that caters to youth aged 12-17. In the past two weeks I had the opportunity to hear the story of a young man named Alfredo. At the age of 17 he is illiterate in his mother-tongue Portuguese, yet he still has the desire to learn English. When he came to the project six years ago he was the most disruptive child. He physically abused the teachers to the point where one teacher feared for her life. Today, he is a completely different boy. He smiles and greets me every morning when I arrive at the MORE Project. When I heard Alfredo’s story I was amazed by the relentlessness of the staff here in Brazil. The work they do here is not just a job, it’s a vocation. Lives are being changed and the children have told me time and time again that they love coming to the MORE Project. They can step outside of their “normal” surroundings into an environment where they can dream. I have gained an even greater respect for the MORE Project. Despite difficult situations, attitudes and days we cannot give up on these kids. There is so much more that we can do!