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Meet João Gabriel
Among all the children that move my heart, one does so in a very special way. His name is João Gabriel. At 4 years old, João is a child with a difficult family relationship. He lives with his brother and pregnant mother. His father is very aggressive, both with the children and the mother, even with his pregnant wife.
There are few resources to sustain his family. They live in a wooden house near the river which floods during the rainy season, forcing them to stay with relatives until the rain stops and the water from the flood dries out. Their house has very precarious conditions, with only two rooms, one being a bathroom and the other being divided between living-room, kitchen and bedroom.
As we do our scheduled home visitations, we notice that although João Gabriel´s father is not living in the same house, he continues to threaten them. As representatives from the Miriam Imelda Educational Center, we come to give moral support – helping them deal with this difficult situation. We also come to provide material support, things like food, clothes, shoes and toys. Global Family support is essential for us to continue responding to these types of critical situations.
We notice that this family is beginning to gain some strength, which is not an easy accomplishment. As for João Gabriel, we give him special attention since it's our concern that these conflict situations not leave a deep trauma that would interfere with his education.
Our effort to put our mission into practice together with our partners is very important. This is especially so with Global Family who has been there for us every time, giving us the opportunity to act on behalf of our community in supporting families like João Gabriel's. Thank you for all the prayers and the love that moves us forward.
Educational Center Miriam Imelda - CEMI - is a non-profit, philanthropic, civil organization. It was founded on November 8, 1998 as a result of donations made in the name of Miriam Imelda, a child who passed away from cancer in 1997. Virginia Marie Barry, a graduate in Psychology at the University of Brentwood with a Management Specialization at Hofstra University and a Master's degree in Inclusive Education at Boston University, was developing a social project in the community. She decided to take concrete action that would benefit the children, realizing that for them to be full participants in the educational process, some basic home care would have to be provided. An educational center cannot replace a family, but it can work as a mediator in this relationship recovery.
Education is meant to transform lives, and it is our goal to do this conscientiously and with authenticity within the community context. CEMI work focuses on integral early childhood education for children aged 3 to 5 years. As individuals with rights, they are exposed to daily pedagogic and educative care in a playful and joyful environment.
Another remarkable moment for us at the Educational Center Miriam Imelda was Virginia’s farewell. She was CEMI´s visionary and founder. The mission that supported Virginia insisted that she retire. This influenced her return to the United States.
We sincerely miss her presence. She is a woman of substance, with strong principles and ideals, who always shared her experiences and knowledge for the growth of the team. Virginia lived in our community and her countless efforts to defend it were of significant help and greatly appreciated.
We believe in this beautiful and marvelous mission that benefits the community and its children with knowledge and meaning. We are certain that your prayers on our behalf are making a difference. We now rely on René Câmara's help, our new coordinator. He is a young man who was raised in the community. He has a degree in pedagogy and wishes to continue his academic studies to strengthen even more social projects. This direction was advised and highly praised by Virginia as a way of growing this mission. Thank you for your continued support.
Report by: Field Reports