By Steven Solomon
PROJECT RESCUE OF AMAZON YOUTH
Projeto de Salvamento das Crianças da Amazônia
Project Rescue of Amazon Youth (P.R.A.Y.) is an orphanage located in Jacundá in Pará, Brazil. P.R.A.Y. provides a safe home for young people who are abused, abandoned or orphaned. There is also a clinic on site that provides medical and dental services to the local community. Rotarian Mark Kropp (from the Rotary Club of Vacaville Sunrise, CA) & Nilda Mavaneti took me to visit Jacundá to see a place which they have been passionately supporting for years. Aside from being donors and volunteers, they have adopted their youngest daughter from there. We were lucky to participate in a couple excursions with the kids to a local farm, took a cruise down the river and spent an afternoon at a swimming pool during their summer holiday. We slept at the orphanage and were able to eat all our meals with the kids.
Once we reached the orphanage we were greeted by the 5 well-dressed residents (including 3 siblings) at the orphanage. I was told that several young girls were moved to another safe haven once they reach 14 years old since they were outgrowing the opportunities in Jacundá. In the past there were up to 30 orphans. Sadly during my visit another resident was admitted back after a horrific sexual experience with her father bringing the number of residents to 6. I will not be able to share the personal stories to protect their privacy but do know that their lives will be better now that they have been removed from their previously toxic environments. You can’t help but get emotionally worked up when you hear the tragedies and other abuses (ie sexual, emotional and physical) endured by these young people.
WAYS TO HELP
The orphanage does receive government support in Brazil but like most nonprofit organizations, they rely on contributions from individual donors and other organizations. There are at least two US based organizations that send money to this orphanage.
Sidcelia Lima Vermelho is the president of the orphanage and can receive contributions through Western Union. She uses this money for immediate costs (ie food, toiletries, clothing, medical care, on-grounds maintenance, security, transportation, housekeeping & cooking staff).
Contact Information in Brazil
P.R.A.Y. Project Rescue of Amazon Youth – Brasil
Rua São Luiz, no. 61, Bairro Boa Esperanca, Jacundá, Pará
FONE: (94) 3345-1241