As I wrote in my blog about the visit to Brazil, I was definitely impacted by the tour of the favelas in Rio de Janeiro. What’s a favela? Per Wikipedia, a favela is the Brazilian term for shanty town, or as they say in the US, a ghetto. The apt description per Wiki is that a favela is constructed from a wide range of materials — from bricks to garbage.
The conditions are almost indescribable … one needs to see pictures, videos or actually visit in person. I went to the barnesandnoble.com site to purchase a couple of books and dvd’s to learn more about the favelas.
Apparently, 1out of 4 or 1 out of 5 Rio citizens live in a favela. The conditions are so horrid … the personal hygiene must suffer dramatically.
Why do I care so much? Because I’m very active in working with inner-city children in DC from less-privileged backgrounds. I see the vicious cycle that occurs when a teen-aged girl gets pregnant, has no support from a father, and then tries to raise the child w/ limited funds. The more that others can to help create a level playing field, the better off for all.
Unfortunately, in the Rio favelas, although one can try to give and donate, apparently the youth won’t get the funds – the parents or older siblings will take it (according to the tour guide). Fortunately, in the US, one can help support urban youth (by helping w/ their high school education, college test preparation, applying to colleges and mentoring throughout their collegiate years).
I’ll write more after I read and watch the books and videos about the favelas.