[box] Fortaleza is the 5th largest city in BRAZIL, home to 2.5 million people. The population density is high, 19,000 people per square mile. Approximately 800 million people live in the city’s slums (favelas).[/box]
[box] A slum (as defined by Un-Habitat) , is ‘a run-down area of a city characterized by substandard housing and squalor and lacking in tenure security.” Our work takes place in a community stricken by poverty, inadequate services, drug and gang related violence and a high level of fear and hopelessness. [/box]
[box] In the favelas there is high unemployment, low life expectancy and poor sanitation. Daily life is a battle for survival and there is little stability or peace and quiet. Children suffer from a lack of education, housing, healthcare and nutrition. Most significantly they have no hope that their lives can be any better than their parents. In order to survive children often resort to theft, drug abuse, prostitution and gang violence. The lives of these children, their families and friends are full of bad news, fear and misery.