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 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.