Brazil

A Child’s Story:

Six-year old, Joao, and his little brother, Jonathan, live in the slums outside of Rio de Janeiro with their father. They were abandoned by their mother and like many children in Brazil, have a difficult family life, experience poor living conditions and worry about having enough to eat. Theirs in not an easy life.

In 2010, Joao and Jonathan entered MORE Project Believers’ Project, where children are taught life skills to deal with the challenges they face. They now attend school where they learn life skills as well as receive support from teachers, social workers and psychologists. Although timid at first, they are now learning and progressing in class and are responding well as they build trust with their teachers. They are thriving in this safe, nurturing environment!

MORE Project in Brazil:

MORE Project’s first initiative started in Brazil. MonaVie, a for profit company whose signature ingredient, the açai berry, is grown and harvested in Brazil, founded MORE Project in an effort to give back to a country that has contributed so much to MonaVie and its distributors.

MORE Project seeks to change the lives of children living in poverty in favelas (slums) outside of Rio de Janeiro. Our work in Brazil builds on the belief that children are the hope of the future. Today, MORE Project is providing schooling, meals, shelter homes, dental care and other critical resources and support to these children so they can begin new lives filled with hope, health and dignity.

Director in Brazil:

Sergio Ponce, MORE Project Brazil Director

Sergio Ponce reports that many of the children and teens are excelling and breaking out of generational poverty. MORE Brazil is creating partnerships with trade schools and colleges and is working to gain scholarships for these youth as they transition into these advanced programs. “We teach them to go out into the real world and provide them with a way to make a living besides drug trafficking or prostitution,” explains Ponce. “We help our kids to learn a trade and to get real jobs that can provide for themselves and their family.”

Programs in Brazil:

To fulfill our vision of helping the most impoverished of Brazil’s citizens to live full, dignified lives, MORE Project operates a series of programs, each of which is designed to fulfill a specific need or purpose.

Mom’s House
Believers Project
The Crèche
Take Off Program

 

Mom’s House

Mom’s House, a shelter care program, is also very successful in meeting MORE’s charter to change lives of desperate youth. Founded and run by Cecilia Ponce, Sergio’s mother, this program currently offers two homes serving 18 children and teens. Youth in this program have been taken off the streets and offered a safe haven. The children and teens are placed into a nurturing home with foster parents, medical, dental and psychological assistance, as well as character and religious development. The youth in these homes are healing and prospering.

 

Believers’ Project –school program for 5 to 11-year-olds

The emphasis of this school program shifts to personal responsibility and meeting behavioral and academic requirements in order to continue participation. The goal is to support these adolescents so they can realize that their future is in their own hands and is not set because of where they were born. Students meeting behavioral and achievement goals can earn special privileges, such as participating in weekend mentoring programs at MonaVie Village. There, they enjoy a respite from the danger of drugs and violence and are rewarded by a stay in a clean, air-conditioned room where they practice personal hygiene and are responsible for caring for their surroundings.

 

Never Better Creche

The Crèche —preschool and nursery for children 0 to 5 years

The work of the Crèche focuses on the whole family, emphasizing the importance of education. Children entering the program are often behind in size, motor development and normal behavior, but through the hygiene services, nutrition and academic programs they receive at Crèche, they soon catch up. Most importantly, they start out their young lives with a vision that their lives can be different.

 

Take off Program

Take Off Program—school program for 12 to 18-year-olds

The emphasis of this school program shifts to personal responsibility and meeting behavioral and academic requirements in order to continue participation. The goal is to support these adolescents so they can realize that their future is in their own hands and is not set because of where they were born. Students meeting behavioral and achievement goals can earn special privileges, such as participating in weekend mentoring programs at MonaVie Village. There, they enjoy a respite from the danger of drugs and violence and are rewarded by a stay in a clean, air-conditioned room where they practice personal hygiene and are responsible for caring for their surroundings.

100,000
the number of people living in favelas where the MORE project operates
12%
of children in Brazil live on the streets
1 in 5
people live in the favelas [slums] slums of Rio de Janeiro