My Chicago buddy passed a beggar on the street and handed him a R$50 note before I could stop him. When asked why, he replied that he was grateful for what God had given him and wanted to give back.
Unfortunately, the beggars and “injured mothers” sitting in Ipanema are predators of your pity: they pay as much as R$2000 rent to the local mafia to be able to sit outside an international bank and beg. Some women rent babies, give them sleeping pills and beg at the rate of R$120 a day.
So for those of you wanting to give something back to those in need, we have done some research and selected 4 NGOs that are making a change and setting an example to others in developing world countries.
And, as with any NGOs, before you give, you should do your due dilligence… but who has the time? It will be a small donation…
Luickily, these few NGOs are the ones that the Les Clef D’Or (Rio’s concierge association) sponsors, so not only is it monitored by them, but you can talk to any concierge in the 5 star hotels in Rio about the charities, and even schedule a visit.
Most of these are not structured to accept web payments such as Paypal or credit cards, but all have a website with methods of donation. You can also visit them personally, giving you a chance to understand how your donation will be used. The charity workers will be more than pleased to show you around and any amount is welcome.
Casa de Apoio à Criança com Câncer de Santa Teresa
A charity located in Santa Teresa to help kids with cancer. “But Cris, there are kids in my city that suffer from cancer!” Yes, that’s always true, but where will your dollar go further?
contact: Sandra Nobrega
An orphanage for kids from socially vulnerable situations. Located in Duque de Caxias, a suburb of Rio.
contact: Solange de Paula
Street Kids: Projeto
Projeto Uerê is a non-profit organization working with children and youth at risk in the streets and in very poor communities in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Children and youth living on the streets can display self-destructive behavior and are at high risk from diseases like HIV, drug addiction and violence. In Brazil there are at least 23 million youngsters nationwide that live under similar conditions.
The work Uerê offers inside these poor communities is of a preventive nature due to interpersonal and intergroup conflicts. Rio has narcotic dealers that keep the poor population under their “protection”, which makes change very difficult and dangerous.
Projeto Uerê contributes by improving the quality of life for some of those children, synthesized within a school providing special education, as well as a day-care center, adapted to the very special needs of the kids it cares for. They work with a specific methodology for each child to care for their particular learning difficulties.
To learn more about how you can help them:
You can Help: Iko poran
If you want to help in other ways, you can donate sweat instead of money. You can join Iko Poran and become a volunteer, staying a few weeks to a few months in Brazil and putting your back into helping any of the various NGOs associated with them.
The Iko Poran Association has as its purpose the fight against many forms of social exclusion. It coordinates national and international volunteers in various areas, notably ecology, education, health, artistic, cultural and science. They provide social assistance directly or indirectly to infants, teens and to socially excluded communities, caring for the rescue of their citizenship and social reintegration.
Acting as a volunteer you will develop a totally new perspective on the world, whilst committing yourself to a social responsibility that can turn the Earth sustainable for all its inhabitants.