Child Jesus of Nazareth Project (MLdN)
Some little stories of success
. The formators are speaking about their work with the children
to the report...
The Child Jesus of Nazareth Project was begun in the Diocese of Cruzeiro do Sul as a part of the Children's Apostolate. It began January 1, 2003 with the community leaders in the three parishes within the city of Cruzeiro do Sul and January 1, 2004 in the parishes of Rodrigues Alves, Mancio Lima and Guajara-AM. The program provides developmental services for children, 0 to 6 years of age, who have physical, visual, hearing, and/or mental challenges and do not have access to any other type of care.
Objectives, goals and activities
The Child Jesus of Nazareth Project's primary objective is to cooperate with families to help them overcome social obstacles and work toward inclusion in the exercise of the fundamental rights to life, education and health care by means of the programs offered in the local parishes.
A principal concern is the inclusion of the families in the local community. The following activities are fundamental to achieve the above objectives.
- A day long class to educate parents about the care and needs of their children will be offered monthly.
- Program leaders will be required to take a refresher course every six months.
- Social communication will be frequently used to raise the consciousness of the communities and institutions in the area.
- Meetings with parish leaders will be held every 15 days in order to evaluate the work with the families. Solidarity and mutual support among the leaders will be promoted by a monthly day of individual observation and sharing in the activities of other leaders in the program.
- The coordinator will regularly observe and offer guidance to parish leaders.
- Courses for families and leaders will have include information about the mental and physical challenges of the children as well as family problems and social living.
In the area of the Diocese of Cruzeiro do Sul - AC, where we work and in the entire country of Brazil, persons with mental and physical challenges are extremely marginalized. They are denied the fundamental rights to life and a worthwhile community life. Discrimination begins in the family and extends to community and social institutions. It extends from disdain to infanticide. The great majority of mentally and physically challenged persons in Cruzeiro do Sul belong to the least favored classes and are being denied the rights to health care, education and rehabilitation. They are also excluded from social advancement and the right to work.
The extent of the problem
A survey made by the Children's Apostolate in Cruzeiro do Sul in September, 2002 showed that there exist 110+ children with hearing impairments, 100+ children with physical difficulties, 220+ children with mental difficulties, and 150+ children with visual difficulties.
In view of the great need and urgency, the Project "Child Jesus of Nazareth" began January, 2003 with funds from a network of benefactors in Germany with the activities extending to Rodrigues Alves, Mancio Lima, and Guajara in January, 2004.
For the second year we have set a goal to work with 120 families. The possibility of caring for the needs of the auditory and mentally challenged will depend on the availability of trained and prepared persons.
The project's staff at the intensive study of special literature.
Evaluation of the Program
An evaluation of the program is made 4 times per year.
- Scientific information from physical therapy
- Reports from the parish leaders
- Reports from people or institutions which defend the rights of persons with physical or mental challenges
- Reports from persons with deficiencies who participated in the educational services
- Reports from the persons we assisted in obtaining additional medical services
Difficulties in the Project
- Lack of commitment by the communities and authorities to support the Child Jesus of Nazareth Project.
- Lack of permanent commitment of the persons with physical and mental challenges and their families.
- Lack of sensitivity of the mass media toward problems of the physically and mentally challenged persons.
The team of Child Jesus of Nazareth Project.
Means to overcome the difficulties
- Personal involvement in the development of the persons with physical and mental challenges
- Support for forming and strengthening institutions for physically and mentally challenged persons
- Publicity to raise the awareness and sensitivity of the general public by means of reports through the mass media, showing the extent and the benefits realized by Child Jesus of Nazareth Project.
- Sensitivity, publicity and education in the public and private institutions for programs and projects related to the Child Jesus of Nazareth Project.
In the first year 84 physically and mentally challenged children and their families were aided by this program.
"Some years ago, in the Special Olympics in Seattle nine participants, all mentally and physically challenged, lined up for the 100 meter dash. At the signal, all started to run, not exactly at full speed, but with the will to give the best of themselves, to finish the race and win.
One of the boys tripped on the asphalt, fell and began to cry. The other eight heard the cry. They slowed down and looked behind them. Then they turned and went back. All of them.
One of the girls, with Down's syndrome, knelt down, gave a kiss to the boy and said: OK, now you are going to get better. And all of the nine competitors joined hands and walked together to the finish line. The entire stadium rose up and the applause lasted many minutes...
Perhaps the athletes were mentally challenged...
But certainly, "they were not spiritually challenged..."
This is because, deep within, all of us know that what is important in this life, more than to win alone, is to help others to overcome, even if this means slowing down..."
Think about this!...
Your opportunity to donate
American Sterling Bank,
535 South Sterling, P.O. 8500,
Sugar Creek, MO 64054-0500
Routing Number: # 101010672
Account Name: Sisters of St Francis of the Holy Eucharist