FAFIRE, SENAC, CEPARVS, PPEVS might not say a lot to an outsider, but they are abbreviations for only a few of the programs and partners that Childhood Brazil is working with to address issues of sexual violence against children in Brazil, which is a central focus for the foundation’s work in this country.
During a visit to SENAC, a national vocational training center, adolescents who are at risk for abuse, or have been victims of abuse and exploitation, shared their experiences of being enrolled in classes that lead directly to employment in the tourism and hospitality industry. With a booming economy, Brazil’s tourism industry is expanding rapidly.
Ana Maria Drummond, executive director for Childhood Brazil, sees the partnership between Childhood Brazil and SENAC as a model for other sectors to adopt: "Adolescents who grow up in isolated and under-developed areas of Brazil often do not receive a quality education. They don’t know that there are opportunities in this industry.”
Childhood Brazil is assisting with qualifying the youth who apply to the training courses, usually 6 months long, and through their long-term partnership with Atlantica Hotels together with other players in the hospitality industry, is facilitating concrete on-the-job experiences for the youth. Commenting on the impact the training has, Ana Maria Drummond concludes, "Childhood Brazil is building these partnership and the results are translated immediately into jobs, but also to a higher sense of self-esteem and confidence in the youth in the program. It is wonderful to see how they grow!”
Princess Madeleine, in photo with participants at SENAC and who also participated in the visit, has followed the development of Childhood Brazil’s projects and the focus on sexual abuse and exploitation. "It is a very difficult issue, but to be able to help children overcome their experiences and at the same time, give them a sense of hope, is exactly what my mother, Queen Silvia, was aiming for when she started Childhood,” adds the princess.
The initiative, PPVES, is a unique effort to mobilize the tourism sector in partnership with federal, state, and local government agencies, that also includes social and human rights enforcement and education. The actions in the program are directly aimed at developing and spreading Better Practices models and to protect children and adolescents against sexual violence.
Text: Charlotte Brandin
Photos: Mikael Silkeberg, Charlotte Brandin