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The Wednesday Club

URGENT APPEAL!!

Early on Wednesday mornings (they can’t afford to do it every Wednesday – but most), a buss travels around the city of Salvador picking up street kids to go to the Wednesday Club. The kids call it “The Happy Buss” – and by the time it reaches it’s destination it is packed full of children looking forward to a day of fun, play, good food, a shower, medical care, safety & love. For one day they can relax and be children, play, get taken care of, and when they leave they will be clutching a “Happy Bag” of food “for tomorrow”.

Each Wednesday Club costs around £900 and this includes the rent of the bus and fuel, some staff costs (there are plenty of volunteers too!), lots of food (and happy bags), medical supplies and some drugs costs (sometimes local medical students help for free too), Hygiene materials, some educational materials and a few other bits. Often there are up to 80 kids and some mothers and their children from very poor families.

With your kind help and the generous support of our partner IAKP we have managed to cover the costs of four Wednesday Club’s, one a month for August, September, October and November 2022. Thank you!!! :]

IBCM prefer to know they have the next few months covered rather than spending the money too fast. For many reasons once a month for four months is better than once a week for one month with no guarantee they will be able to run it the following month. We hope to be able to fund two per month soon.

“We can play and have fun and have good food. I wish it was every day!

Usual Wednesday Club Schedule

Often held in a public park or any available large area

8:00 – Gathering children from the streets by coach.
8:30 – 9:00h Breakfast
9:00 – 10:00h – Play outdoors
10:00 – 12:00h – Workshops of wisdom (Hygiene, Safety, Health etc.)
11:00 – 12:00 – Lunch
12:30 – 14:00h – Rest
14:00 – 15:00h – Songs and play
15:00 – 15:30h – Supper
15:30 – 16:00h – Hygiene and good-bye
16:00 – Buss leaves back

There are more than 200 willing to come but we cannot afford it. If there were other NGO's doing the same, we could split and cater for all of them, but for now it is just us doing this work.

Donna ConceicaoProject Director (unpaid!)

The below is extracts from an interview with Donna Conceiaco done as part of our project appraisal process:

DC: “I know the city well, every spot. Our focus is not just donating food and clothes – we do donate them – but providing health. Without health there is nothing left, isn’t it? The majority is HIV infected, on this Wednesday we check up their health, provide medicine and send to the hospital. I already know about these ones over here, what is going on with their heath. We start taking care of their health till next Wednesday. Sometimes for longer than that, depending on the situation.

“We know they will get some food here and there. People will sometimes feed them, but none will take them to the hospital, wait there, provide a doctor, medicine, prescription, find a sponsor, sell things or even take from my own pension. The reason I do this is because someone must. We do not know of someone else doing it. Projeto Axé (another NGO in Salvador) is great, but it is art, playful related. Health wise, I do not know… so far only me. My team, I mean. We go everywhere

Important note from the COB trustees

It may seem almost criminal to return these children to where they sleep on the streets after the Wednesday Club – there are simply not enough funds at the moment to do more and there is nowhere else who will take these children in.

This is our main aim this year  to provide more support and opportunities to IBCM to firstly run the buss and the club more frequently. Secondly to try and get somewhere to become a shelter for these children (with associated advice and services to help them on a more permanent basis) and thirdly to start opening small houses with up to 10 children (and “house parents”) in each to become a more permanent home with proper education and the like.

It is a heart breakingly sad fact that many of these children already have HIV/AIDS, we need to act as quickly as we can to give them as good a home as possible and the best chance of the medical care they need. A home and the right care can mean a long and happy life, without it the risk of developing secondary infection is very great, even before the other problems associated with living on the streets.

It would cost a lot of money to do everything we would dearly love to do for this project, open a child refuge centre, increase the outreach program, improve the medical care, open up to 10 small homes for up to 100 children in total. Whilst this sort of money is a pipe dream at the moment we just have to do what we can. £900 pays for a Wednesday club, around £6 pays for a child to attend one Wednesday club. We just have to approach this one day at a time, one child at a time, and hope and pray that we can rally enough support to do more.

This really is an URGENT APPEAL – please help us to help these children – please give what you can – every penny will get there!! Any ideas – any help – please do contact us!

Please help

if you can

Location

The Children of Bahia
76 Whipton Lane
Heavitree, Exeter.
Devon. EX1 3DN

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