Our Brazil team has officially launched Life Impact in the Amazon!!! From the beginning, when our founder, Lana, and our team prayed about Brazil, we had 3 places on our hearts from God – Rio de Janeiro, the North, and the Amazon! We targeted these three regions as they have the most at-risk and vulnerable children because they have the highest rates of trafficking, exploitation, and abuse in Brazil!
Last month, as part of our Orange May Campaign, we launched in the Amazon!!! Our team was able to reach 500 people at the two large festivals in Manaus and Autazes!
ORANGE MAY FESTIVAL IN MANAUS
This month we hosted an “Orange Festival” in Manaus as part of our launch. It was located in Nova Cidade, an area that has a lot of low-income families, drugs, and prostitution. We had over 300 kids, teenagers, and parents attend from the community. We had a theater company do a play specifically aimed at child abuse awareness and prevention. We had a special talk for the parents about child abuse and exploitation, and we had lots of music, games, and food!
Autazes is a small municipality located along the Amazon River. It is about 4 hours distance from Manaus, which is the capital and main port of entry for the Amazon. Autazes is known for its cheese and milk production and its famous Milk Festival in July. However, it is also known for high rates of drug use, violence, prostitution, and child exploitation. Autazes is where our ongoing Prevention Project will be located!
The location of our Prevention Project in Autazes is a “Red Light District”, where prostitution and sex are openly commercialized. Many of the children in this area are extremely vulnerable and at risk of being trafficked. Not only is prostitution a problem, but many drugs and weapons are also openly sold, which puts many young boys and teenagers at risk of becoming drug dealers.
The Prevention Project is right beside an Indigenous community, where the majority of kids in our project live and we have been given permission to use the Happy Kids Foundation’s building as the location for our new prevention project.
ORANGE MAY FESTIVAL IN AUTAZES
We hosted a big “Orange Festival” outside the Happy Kids Foundation! There were over 200 children, teenagers, and parents who participated. Our team performed a drama, held games, distributed food, had volunteers dressed up as superheroes, and had bouncy castles and trampolines. We also had one of our psychologists talk to the moms in the community about the importance of protecting their children, recognizing the signs of abuse, and how to prevent it.
GIRLS PREVENTION PROJECT IN AUTAZES
Our girls’ project officially started last month in Autazes, on Saturdays. We have been reaching almost 30 girls from ages ten to seventeen, through our devotionals, teachings, games, and activities. We focused last month on the topic of self-esteem, self-care, and how God created us uniquely. This project is aimed to keep the girls off the streets, disciple them, and teach them life skills that can expand their perspective for their future.
And soon, we will officially be launching our Boys Sports Prevention Project!
BOYS PREVENTION PROJECT IN AUTAZES
Our team is at work preparing to launch a strategic program in Autazes targeting young boys and teenagers. As many of these young boys and teenagers are already on the path to a life as a drug dealer and trafficker. So through our Boys’ Soccer Program, we hope to show them the love of Jesus and that God has a better future for them. We are trying to give these boys a vision of what their future could look like outside of trafficking!
*Alaina is a 14-year-old girl who recently had a baby. We discovered it was her own mother who has been exploiting her by taking her around to different men to prostitute her in exchange for money, food, and cigarettes. Through this, Alaina became pregnant and had a baby boy. The baby was adopted by a relative because Alaina’s family does not have the means to care for him. The Judge involved also wanted Alaina to be adopted with the baby since she is at risk of continuous exploitation if she stays with her mother. However, no one was willing to adopt Alaina, and according to the Judge, there is no safe home or orphanage available to take her in.
*Child’s name has been changed for her protection
Please pray with us for a solution for Ana Paula!