Community Development is where the majority of our work occurs. In 2011 we opened the Quiet Strength Community Center is the small community of Vera Cruz in Recife, Brazil. Through this project we work with 50 girls between the ages of 4 and 14 with a focus on preventing child prostitution and sexual exploitation. At this project each girl receives Christian education, academic tutoring and enrichment, training in the arts and music, hygiene and healthcare, and nutrition. Furthermore, we put a strong focus on educating these girls on the risks they run of being sexually exploited and/or prostituted and strive to teach them a different way of life than they have been shown by their parents. We are currently looking for a Christian Social Worker or Psychologist to add to our staff in Brazil that will provide the much needed counseling for each girl in our program.
Each Wednesday afternoon we have a mid-week worship service at the project for the girls and their moms led by a seminary student from the local Canadian Reformed Church. This is introducing most of the girls and their moms to church for the first time and they come eager to hear more of God’s word each week.
Through this ministry we are seeing the lives of these young girls transformed drastically – where there was once pain there is now love, where there was once despair there is now hope, and where there was once fear there is now peace.
- Open a community library that will have weekly story times and be open to all children in the community.
- Begin a dance ministry to reach the adolescent girls in the community. This ministry will be used as a tool to raise awareness about child prostitution and the work of ESTHERS Children through presentations in local churches and schools.
- Open a small art shop and bakery where the girls and their moms can sell the art they are learning to make in our art classes and assorted baked goods and party foods they are learning to make in our cooking classes.
- Address the issues of thirst and diseases caused from drinking dirty water, together with JusticeWater, through their Water Catchment Tanks.
- Build a community garden, together with The Food Machine, to help fight malnutrition in the community and help promote healthy eating habits.