A New Home and a New Future
Clerson Nacimento, 13, and Windson Randrei, 12, lived on the streets of Recife, a large Brazilian city with white-sand beaches and squalid slums. The streets offered a grim daily reality of drugs and drug dealers, random violence, petty theft, hunger and, perhaps most tragic of all, an utter lack of guidance and love.
An alternative to the street
Brazilian Lions wanted to give these children a chance at life. With the assistance of an LCIF US$75,000 standard/matching grant, the Street Children Center was constructed in 2001. Two years later, the Foundation gave a US$60,000 grant for expansion so the center could accommodate 50 children instead of 23. The Street Children Center includes a dormitory, dining room, classrooms and exercise room—it’s a safe haven for children who have lived lives of chaos. Thanks to LCIF and Lions, thousands of young people around the world, like Nacimento and Randrei, have been given the opportunity live, learn and begin to dream about their futures. But there are still countless more children who need our help.
Lives turned around
With the Street Children Center to call home, Nacimento and Randrei began to feel hopeful and cared about after years of neglect. Once destined for prison or an early death, they now are beginning to enjoy being kids for the first time and are looking forward to becoming productive citizens. After being at the Street Children Center for just one month, Nacimento said, “I want to be a doctor. The street is so bad. I want to tell the other street children to come here so they can stop suffering.” Added Randrei, “I love it here. We go on day trips to the beach and to the museums. We play. We even have tea time. I would like to thank Lions for this opportunity.”