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BRAZIL: Renovation of Gym Helps Community Rebuild

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Project Overview

Anticipated lives impacted: 900 (School children and their families, plus beneficiaries of community space)

Grant amount: $71,887 (Cost per beneficiary: $79.87)

How can you contribute?
For $52.22, you can help one child use the completed gym. For $1,515, you can provide the electric fittings for the gym. For $6,360, you will cover the cost of painting and finishing the gym.

Approved by the ARDF Global Trustees: November 2016

Project Description

The neighborhood of Pernambuco used to be a poor, dangerous place with few opportunities for residents. The diocese of Recife, through an organization called House of Hope, which engages the community with the Gospel in a variety of ways. It operates a daycare and after-school program to meet the needs of largely vulnerable children living in this urban slum community. The program takes in children of working single mothers and other at-risk children with the goal of bringing them to wholeness and academic excellence. It also operates a thrift shop and offers evangelistic outreach through its many small groups. Because of these efforts, the church in Recife is growing.

For this project, the diocese will renovate a multi-purpose gym in Pernambuco that will serve members of the community and complement House of Hope’s outreach programs. The current gym lacks a roof, exposing users to the rain or tropical sun. With the renovated space, the Diocese of Recife will be able to offer programs that boost the lives of community members. For example, the gym will host spaces for teen mothers and single mothers in weekly support groups where they receive assistance on prenatal and postpartum healthcare. An afterschool program will provide sports and recreational opportunities at the gym to help keep children off the streets and away from life’s negative influences. The space will also be used for events such as youth extravaganzas, community health days, weekend church retreats and evangelism services. The diocese and House of Hope will draw on previous construction experience and will hire a team to renovate the building. The community will provide some of the labor.

In their own words:

“I study at Casa Da Esperanza. I would like [to be able to play
soccer in an enclosed soccer field]. When we are playing, the ball goes to the neighbors’ houses and the neighbors complain. When we play football, we get blisters under our feet [due to the hot pavement]. And when it rains, there is a lot of mud, and we can fall and hurt ourselves. That’s why I am asking for a roof where all of us from the community can come to play and do all the activities.”
— Ana Beatriz, 11, a participant at Casa de Esperanza

Read the full report on the project here, or download a summary here.

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