Catchy Colors Photoblog: CARF's 2008 Flickr 'Reach For A Star' Campaign

Monday, December 29, 2008

CARF's 2008 Flickr 'Reach For A Star' Campaign

- Do Good!

Cyber Giving Week is the last week of the year - a week during which most people make their tax deductable online charity donations.

Consider this your reminder to donate, BEFORE December 31, 2008, to causes you care passionately about!


Causes like CARF's 2008 Flickr 'Reach For A Star' Campaign...

CARF on Flickriver


Won't You consider making a $10.00 donation to this incredibly worthy cause?

Reaching for a star campaign 2008

Children of the Hummingbird Project in São Paulo, Brazil.
Gregory J. Smith
Children At Risk Foundation - CARF




- CARF says:


Never to die in vain...


It was two months ago today that we buried Claudiney, only five months after his younger brother Roney was brutally murdered. Much has happened since then . . . . . .

Our new community prevention centre opened on July 6th. against incredible odds, just one week after Claudiney’s death. We dedicated the new centre to their memory, a tribute not only to these two beloved street kids who didn’t make it, but also to all the other street kids in Brazil who have suffered before them.........

During the opening ceremony and in the presence of community leaders, the municipal government’s Mayor and other leading politicians, family members and CARF’s trustees and patrons, I presented Roney and Claudiney’s tragic story to the multitude present for the occasion, most of whom were humble members of the extremely poor community that will benefit form this important initiative, which we have created to prevent other kids from reaching such a tragic destiny.

Photo Copyright © Tatiana Cardeal. All rights reserved.
See original size.


With the two boys heavily in my thoughts today, I spent time browsing through all my portraits of Roney and Claudiney, reading through my captions and comments. There have been many, far too many to list here, but I have chosen some that I would like to share with you.........in their beloved memory:

“Roney's past life experiences will definitely determine his future, but I'm not sure he'll survive to have one.............”

“I have always kept contact with these kids, during the good times and the bad times, that's part of my compromise with them. That's what makes Roney's death so sad as I didn't manage to stop that from happening and I won't be able to stop whatever could happen to Claudiney if he doesn't wake up to reality soon...............”

“Claudiney is enjoying being in control of his life, even if I would have preferred him participating for full in the program, which would only help him in the right direction. Patience is always a keyword in my work as it takes many years to recuperate any kid from the streets.............”

“For each positive step taken in the right direction in Claudiney's life, there are at least five negative ones being taken against him. We can only protect our kids during the hours we are together, but it is an impossible task for us to live their lives for them 24 hours a day............”

“It hurts me a lot to see how confused Claudiney is at the moment, but I cannot impose upon him the solution. He must experience the pathways to a new life that we feel we can offer him and at the same time be allowed to fail along the way..........”

“Each choice he makes, either positive or negative, will have consequences on his life, but he is the one who needs to experience the difference. What worries me most is that there are others out there who would love to see Claudiney back on the streets; those very same people responsible for his brother's cold-blooded murder............”

“Claudiney needs an army of angels to protect him against all the evil odds in our society..............”

“I must admit, it was with great pride that I peeped into his classroom last night and observed him engaged in his books. I know how delicate his situation is at this moment and how his own life is balancing on a very fine thread.............”

“His first thoughtful sigh to me after school, on our way back home to his grandma's was: "Roney should have been here with me"..........”

“It will be nothing less than a miracle if Claudiney manages to stay in school because the family network around him is an extremely fragile one and he will need a lot of support if he is to manage this demanding situation. We will of course be there to strengthen that network through his participation at Hummingbird, but as I always emphasize with such kids, we cannot live their lives for them..........”

“I am happy for each day that I can follow Claudiney to- and from school and the fact that he hasn’t missed a single lesson since we started out on this tough journey to recovery; he has 8 years to catch up on and no time to waste.
I am happy listening to his teachers telling me how interested he is in learning........
I am happy to see the changes in his social attitude towards those who surround him.........
I am happy sharing his desires for the future, something we never managed before; living today – gone tomorrow!
I am happy observing his positive social integration with all the other kids at Hummingbird........
I am happy that everyone who knows him is also happy about his positive development.......
....and I am very happy that he is still alive.................”

“If Claudiney manages to follow our program through the next 30-40 days I believe it may work for him, but I'm really hoping for a miracle because I know what we are up against...............”

“Claudiney is really a soft-hearted kid and if he had his own way he would stay put at Hummingbird. That's his real desire. He seems comfortable in the security of an organised home, where rythme and rules have a positive effect on him. I suppose, as with most kids, a feeling of security is really the most important thing in their lives...........”

“Roney is the more energetic of the two. He loves disturbing any peaceful moment if it's not to his liking. If there is not enough action going on, Roney will soon make sure there will be.........”

“Motivating brothers or sisters with such contrasting personalities and who still live on the streets together is no easy task. Their survival on the streets makes them totally dependent on each other and in their case life is like a continuing battle between the good and the bad, represented strongly in both their personalities.........”

“Roney and Claudiney are far too sceptical to believe that their luck is in, and if they confide, they know the going will get very tough (in a different way than on the streets) and they are very insecure when it comes to weighing up the odds...........”

“Street kids get into all kinds of trouble, serious trouble; trouble with the wrong kind of people. Drugs and thieving are the more provocative problems involving others.
In Brazil, lives are not worth a shit, no matter what age!
Claudiney and his brother Roney get on these people's nerves and these people are killers by custom. That is the way they resolve their little problems. It is real and frightening because it could happen at any moment. Nobody is safe from these kinds of thugs...........”

“My dad is not very happy with me now (because of the situation I got him in), but then again, he never has been! I can understand why though. Have you ever had a gun stuck in your ear or up your nose before? I have, many times! You never know if the guy will pull the trigger............” - Roney.

“The thugs raided my dad’s house in the middle of the night and stuck a big gun in his ear, then asked him where I was. He cried and told them he didn’t know (which was pretty true!)
They beat him up instead of shooting him, but next time........?” - Roney.

“Impunity is the worse medicine for recuperating anyone but punishment alone is useless and that is why my job will be important following them through this new situation if they are sentenced on November 13th., when their case comes up for hearing in the criminal courts.
In their particular case I see this as an opportunity to finalize the work I started three years ago, otherwise I don't give them more than two more years to live................”
(Note: Unfortunately, the courts did not follow our advice).

“You don't realize how hard it is to relax knowing these kids are on the streets and not knowing what's happening next in their lives. Anything can happen - at any time . . . . . . . . .”

- Gregory


Remembering the dead...

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1 Comments:

Anonymous Aparna said...

campaign's ad looks very beautiful and innocent face.

25.3.09  

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