PHOTO: A “cinema on the street” event run by members of an emerging network of organisations helping at-risk children (Rosie and Stu Bayford)
A web-based network will soon be helping organisations in Brazil join forces in their fight to end sex trafficking and abuse of children.
Rosie and Stu Bayford, short-termers with Church Mission Society, have been meeting up with several local organisations serving the many at-risk children in the Recife area of north-east Brazil.
Out of this newly emerging network, the idea to create a way for these organisations to share and learn from each other online was born.
Rosie and Stu are based with ReVive in Olinda. Founded and led by CMS mission partners Andy and Rose Roberts, ReVive provides temporary homes for at-risk children and advocates for adoption among Christian families, forging new paths into loving homes for many children who need them.
When Rosie and Stu arrived in Brazil, a network for similar projects was just getting going. They started attending the network meetings, representing ReVive. It was clear there were many other projects within Greater Recife sharing their desire to see a just society and an end to sex trafficking and abuse.
So far, 12 projects have joined the network, which is becoming stronger with each new member project. They range from safe houses for children and adolescents who have had their rights violated, to social projects on the streets, to community projects working within the area of prevention.
Over the past few months, with the aim of building relationships and growing the network, Rosie and Stu have met with others running projects in the area who share their passion for at-risk children.
They met people running a community project that provides a safe space for girls and women away from exploitation and abuse, and which encourages a culture of peace.
They also met a neighbour who set up a project using the arts to connect with young people and provide opportunities to those who otherwise wouldn’t get the chance to learn an instrument or explore the art of music.
Rosie and Stu recognised that many of these organisations, as small charities trying to make a small difference in their locality, had plenty in common.
They realised there was a lot of knowledge, experience and expertise that could be shared, avoiding each organisation making the same mistakes or reinventing the wheel.
So they came up with the idea of a network website.
The public-facing part of the site will be mainly for signposting. Visitors will be able to search through the services provided by member organisations and find the contact details of projects that will hopefully be able to support them.
Of course, safe houses and other sensitive projects won’t have details available on the site. But these organisations will have a presence in the private section of the site.
Users from member organisations will be able to log in to an area where they can share ideas and knowledge and ask questions. Members will also be able to contribute and access resources, everything from policies and procedures to kids’ activities and devotionals.