I’m Vicky Kashala from the Congo. I arrived in Belo Horizonte, Brasil on the 15th of December 2015. I started my Portuguese language class and after three months, I went to Vilhena where I’m working for the Shade and Fresh Water project.
The Shade and Fresh Water Project has two programs. The first one is an after school program; this program is for 6-14 years old and the number of the kids from this project is about 150+. It is a big project and many people from the church volunteer to work with the project. This program offered to the kids has different activities such as Christian education, sports, art, theater, music, English classes, and ballet. Then after activities with the project, lunch is offered every day for them before going home. The program makes the kids feel loved and kids like it so much more than school. The Shade and Fresh Water Project organizes a party every year that the families can attend, where the kids demonstrate to their parents what they have been learning at the project. They make many presentations during this party. It is considered to be a safe place where kids can get a good education in Vilhena. Many kids are involved in drugs, prostitution, gangs, and sexual activities while they still very young. This project is helping to educate children and helps them not to find themselves in that kind of life.
At the same project, we have another program which is the “course de gestante” which means the course of pregnant women. It is another part of the project and it is about teaching pregnant women, most of whom are teenagers. Teenage pregnancy is an issue that bears various forms of suffering. These adolescents live in precarious health situations, without having a job. Many of them live the reality of single mothers. Loneliness, despair, and lack of support lead many to try abortions where not only the child dies, but the teen does as well. Children who survive despite a lack of prenatal care, suffer from infections that lead to death. There are a large number of pregnant adolescents in this region. They are offered the same courses, such as participatory planning, devotional, educational lectures, prenatal care, vaccinations hygiene, baby care, health postpartum mother, and bible studies. The person teaching them bible study is Pastor Deonisio, the pastor of the local church and the person making many efforts for the community to be improved.
The project aims are as follows:
1- To combat child prostitution.
2- Prepare the pregnant woman to have a healthy pregnancy. (Prenatal)
3- Helping mothers to sew the trousseau (clothes) for the baby.
4- Serve with support, both psychological and spiritual.
5- Prevent STDs and diseases of the skin. (Cancer and Leprosy)
6- Decrease Abortion index and death to both the baby and the mother.
7- Prepare the mother to raise her baby in the values of God’s kingdom.
8- Combat and prevent drug use.
9- Supporting families with basic care and a medicine basket.
These two programs of the Methodist Church help the community to be transformed in a positive way.
Projeto Sombra e Agua Fresca (Shade and Fresh Water Project)
GMF International, Class of 2015-2017