Open Hands Project
In February 2012 a team of five Jubilee Community Church members travelled to Southern Brazil to work on a project providing new homes for local people currently living in the squalor of slums called favelas.
The project is the construction of new homes in the town of Campo Largo, 400 miles south west of Sao Paulo. Each new house has a floor area of 48 square metres and has two bed rooms, a bathroom and a living, dining and kitchen area. The walls are constructed of concrete bricks, rendered and painted externally and plastered internally and has a roof with terracotta tiles. Each house costs around £5,500 for materials with the construction completed by volunteers. The team was working on house number 21 which completes this phase in the project.
Our partner is Maosabertas (Open Hands) You will find their web site (in Portuguese) at www.maosabertas.org
Maosabertas manages the construction work and the local authority have provided the land and make the necessary service connections of water, electricity and sewerage free of charge.
The team visited families in nearby favelas to meet prospective families being considered for the project homes. Most of these favela houses are built from scrap materials with gaps in the walls that let in the wind and rain. Campo Largo is just south of the tropic of Capricorn so frosts are common in the winter making these houses extremely cold.
The team visited other projects in and around the area including a drug rehabilitation centre that is achieving great results with local young men. As well as interacting with the residents and hearing their stories we are usually challenged to a game of volleyball or football. Gifts of Aid items brought by team members are always well received. The team also served at the Abba Church Downtown Outreach service, a feeding programme in Curitiba reaching out to the rough sleepers and prostitutes.
YWAM has children’s outreach initiatives on two sites outside Curitiba both located near to large very needy favelas. The team will have opportunities to play sports and games, do craft work using recycled materials from local rubbish and with materials brought by teams. The team trekked up to a hilltop favela and visited a couple running a workshop teaching craft skills, music and literacy.
At the end of the trip the team visited the waterfalls at Foz do Iguacu and the Itaipu Hydro Electric Dam. This gave an opportunity to see not only one of the wonders of the natural world but one of the seven wonders of the modern world, as described by the US Institute of Civil Engineering. The Lonely Planet guide describes the falls as, “A total of 275 individual falls occupy an area more that 3Km wide and 80m high, which makes them wider than Victoria, higher then Niagara and more beautiful than either. Neither words nor photographs do them justice – they must be seen and heard.”
Each team member was able to take a second suitcase filled with gift items that were left with the projects they visited. Thank you very much for all your donations towards this.