Solidariety 4 Flexal 2

Flexal II is one of the thousands poor neighbourhoods in Brasil. As in any other poor place around the world, most part of the population are illiterate. Still, for Flexal II, as for every other poor neighbourhood around the world, there is hope. Education alone won't change much. But to start a good fire, all we need is a spark.

Monday, April 10, 2006

It's time for a miracle

I don't even know what to post.
The library has been closed down for undetermined time.
All things are here - it is just not working at the moment.
Lack of personal strentgh and external support, mainly.
And I don't mean money. For once I have it.
Today the children spent the morning calling me to ask about their communitary school.
Because their teachers went to a barbecue at the beach.
I'd say "kill them all teachers", but then someone would say "she says that because she's a muslim".

I am human, and this hypocrisy is killing me.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

One okay - thousands to go!

And then it all comes down to this: God is constantly watching over us, whether we are aware of it, or not.

Yesterday Doug and I went to the paper depot to buy his school material. Unfortunately we could not savour the moment throughly - I had to run other errands and time was against us. However, it was all good.

He could not decide on anything, except a 400 pages notebook. I wonder how heavy that must feel for a 27kg, 12 y.o. boy. Other than that, I had to make all the choices. I tried to balance it by buying a sports pen holder here, a cool yet non-expensive set of pens here - I reckon I could have chosen just anything, and he'd be more than pleased.

I was so glad when the first thing he said after arriving back at the org was "it is a pity that aunt Isabel is not here to see my school things..." He pulls the right strings, I tell ya... He knows she will be proud and encourage him, as he earned every bit of it.

Plus, I don't know if I mentioned it before, nor have I enough time to check now, but we all know how fond children are with coins, so everyday Doug dropped by he earned himself a 0,50 BRL - the equivalent of 0,23 USD. So by the time we arrived at the depot, he had some cash of his own to buy whatever he wanted.

He picked a drawing book.

I was speechless. No fancy pen, nothing to make anyone else jealous, nothing to show off. A drawing book. I have no words to express my gratitude for this boy's character. May God allow him to grow wiser and wiser. A child, still. But what a child!

Thank to all friends who helped with prayers, good thoughts and donations so Douglas could be in school. I could mention a few names, Oxaene, Roland, Igiko, and my best friend and counselour down under. All of them gave their best to make it happen, and I am so grateful for that.

This is just the beginning, God willing.
There is too much more to be done.

For all that, in Arabic, we say:
Praise be to God.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Douglas, Mr. Handy

After a long while, where I am again.
I reckon I should have written it all a long time ago, but-
Well, of course there are "buts", or I'd have it all done before.


Douglas, you should all know him by now (in this picture next to his brother, Rodrigo), he is our Mr. Handy.

Two weeks ago he told me he'd have to quit school because his father could not afford his school material. I asked him then if he'd mind helping me around the house with library business and house management, in a fair (in my opinion) exchange for his school gadgets.

He smiled. I took that for an "okay".

I'll update you all again soon. Hopefully.
Take care ye all.


Thursday, November 24, 2005

Nearly 300 books ready

...and a lot of extra work to do.
When christmas approaches I get a handful of requests for cards, calendars and such. For this reason, I have been working less at the library.
Tomorrow, at 10am - this, if I can stand still after 72 hours of work and only 10 of sleep - Rodrigo has reading classes. I can stop for half an hour - Rodrigo is too eager to learn. Saying no to him somehow is not an option.


Rodrigo's brother, Douglas, told me yesterday he won't attend school any more. He said his father told him he can't afford school material. Yeah, I know, it is not that expensive... for you, and maybe for me. But for a father who has 5 children in school ages, might be heavy.

If you feel like helping, write me and I'll send the account where you can deposit, or the address to where you can send your parcel.

NOTE: This history will repeat itself a thousand times before the end of the year. Most kids / parents can't afford paying for school material. If you can spare some change, help out. If you cannot help 10 kids, help one. It is wonderful just the same.

By the way, if you can't help in cash, service or material donation, you can always pray.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

259... 260... 261 books and counting!!

We received another donation of books, this time about Law. It is wonderful that we have so many subjects for reference already! Physics, Electronics, Mechanics, Law, Languages... Who'd think that in such a short time we'd be so well provided?

Today I went to the big town to buy some more cataloguing material. We had ran out of everything, from adhesive tape to inside-envelopes! Now I can go on. Tomorrow, Saturday, was supposed to be my day off but for some reason it changed into "kids day". So be it. in less than 6 hours they'll be knocking and yelling at my door to... well, just to be here.

A word of appreciation to my friends who help me to remain steady and faithful: Mieke (eternal teacher), Cris (and the arab funky bunch), Luiz (I am so glad you are back), Jack (you did read it!), Flora (and Dani and Renato) and my sister Isabel. I love you all.