The “Sunbeam” Educational Center for Preschool Children opened in 1998 in Atibaia, São Paulo State, Brazil, and is one of the areas of work of the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary. It is run by them through a contract with the city council. However, the existence of the pre-school education center would be impossible without the support of benefactors, both from Brazil and from Germany, because the financial resources would not be sufficient to pay for the wages and social security contributions of the 32 employees and the basic daily expenses.
At the age of six, a boy had to take over the sale of narcotics on behalf of his father, and at the age of 12 he became self-employed in the distribution of drugs. At the age of 15, he was imprisoned. Now he is free and trying to change his life for the better, but he needs support and help. We do not publish the boy’s name to protect him, but this story is true and is similar to many others among the families of the approximately 210 children cared for at the “Sunbeam” Daycare Center in the poor neighborhood called Caetetuba.
Little Children, Big Expectations
The glow in the eyes of these little ones gives new strength to those who devote themselves to the children every day. In addition to providing care for children from ages 2-3½, they give them basic education to help them develop organically. The “Sunbeam” daycare also offers daily meals, hygiene, a playground, and space for rest and relaxation. After lunch, a dormitory room is available. The center takes care to provide psychological and dental treatment as well as participation in various projects, such as music education. The time the children spend at the daycare must give them a foundation for the future, which will soon begin, because at the age of four the children already attend the city elementary school.
A Situation that Presupposes a Lot of Care
Sister Marione Ginter accompanied the daycare from the start and is highly appreciated by the local community because she often visits families of those with children in the daycare program and also helps other families in emergency situations. However, she does not only provide for the sustenance of these families and the supplementation of the usually skimpy nutrition by way of packages of essential foodstuffs. She says, “My concern is above all religion, because without it the moral conscience also suffers.” Sister emphasizes that the biggest problem is unemployment: “I visit the families in order to take in their situation.” She explains that the economic situation in Brazil contributes to the fact that people are less and less able to pay for general services. The majority of these poor people have no professional training, nor are they experienced in other work. They live in “favelas” (slums), and the precarious living conditions influence all other areas of life.
Unite Forces to Brighten the Children’s Lives
Trusting that educating means enlightening and illuminating, the Sisters of Mary, with a great deal of love for the project, care deeply about the fact that a new society is only possible with the education of a new person, and that starts in the earliest childhood.
The testimony of many who have gone through the daycare confirms this: “I thank the Sunbeam Daycare that it belonged to my childhood and helped me to be what I am today,” testifies Thais Coqueiro, 22 years old, who is studying to be a marketing analyst.
By uniting our powers, we can help this “Sunbeam” so that it can continue to radiate into the hearts of hundreds of children and contribute to making society more and more enlightened and brightened.
Visit the page of „Creche Raio de Sol“:
Project ID: Kinderkrippe, Atibaia, Brasilien
Missionszentrale der Schönstätter Marienschwestern
Berg Schönstatt 6
Tel. (0261) 64 04-311
Bank: LIGA Bank eG
IBAN: DE10 7509 0300 0000 058920