Catholic Charity Aiming for 20 Shelter Homes
NEW YORK, DEC. 2,
2004 (Zenit.org).- Benefactors have the chance to play St.
Nick this Christmas by helping to fund one of 20
shelter homes for Brazilian children.
"Not only will these villages keep
kids off the streets in the first place," said Ken
Davison, director of Catholic World Mission, "they´ll reach out to
children who already live on the streets, especially girls who
are pregnant or have babies as a result of what
they believed they had to do to eat."
Catholic World Mission,
a Connecticut-based charity, plans to found a Communidade Mão Amiga
(Helping Hand Community) in six of Brazil´s largest cities.
which will feature various facilities, will provide shelter for young
pregnant street girls and their children, and abandoned children who
live on the street or in orphanages.
The facilities will include
a nursery, a day-care center and a Catholic World Mission
Mão Amiga school.
The facilities in each Communidade Mão Amiga will
include an Our Lady of Guadalupe Home shelter for at-risk
children; a maternity safe house, Casa Mama Rosa, for pregnant
street girls; a Catholic World Mission Mão Amiga school; and
a Centro Catarina (Katie Center), which will serve as a
community center for children and young adults.
Already, five girls, ages
5 and under, have been given shelter and the promise
of future education. Formerly, they were living in a state-run
orphanage and suffered from a host of maladies when they
Catholic World Mission is seeking donors to participate in
an incentive matching program to generate funds for the
A key benefactor, Dr. Nicholas Perricone of Meriden, Connecticut, has
already paid for the five girls´ boarding and education and
has pledged to give $2 for every $1 donated by
others, until he has given $1 million.
"This wonderful man gave
us the groundbreaking gift we needed to take five little
girls off the street and begin building Communidade Mão Amiga
in Sao Paulo -- a community that will strike at
the root causes of the crisis in Brazil," said Davison.
"He´s calling his fellow Catholics to join him in taking
more kids off Brazil´s streets."
Groundbreaking for the first community started
in October. The first school is expected to open by