Weʼre raising £5,500 to a Missing Children Charity (Do it for Charity London to Brighton Cycle Ride - London to Brighton - 16th September 2018)
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Each year in Brazil more than 200,000 people go missing, around 50.000 are kids. That astounding number—the population of a medium-sized city—is a national human tragedy on an epic scale, and yet despite the staggering and lasting emotional pain this ongoing tragedy causes, national and international authorities are not doing enough to end it.
Mães da Sé is a small Brazilian charity devoted to changing all that. Mães da Sé was founded by Ivanise Esperidião Da Silva, a grieving mother whose life was forever changed when her beautiful, 13-year old daughter Fabiana vanished without a trace, while coming back from her friend's house, only a few metres from the door step of their family home. In her desperate search for her daughter, Ivanise quickly discovered that she was not alone; thousands of other mothers had suffered similar personal tragedies and, like Ivanise, they relentlessly looked for their missing kids. All learned in their quest that ill-resourced and indifferent state and national law enforcement agencies were of little help. Another hard lesson they learned was that they would have to rely principally on themselves to prod authorities into action and to raise public awareness of the dimensions of the tragedy that has befallen Brazil.
This charity thus came about as a response to these massive problems. Its purpose is to both work with and keep pressure on authorities to make the search for missing persons in Brazil the highest priority. Equally important, it provides much needed support to the families of missing persons in Brazil. Focusing on the disappearance of children and adolescents, Mães da Sé keeps comprehensive records and documentation of disappearances, maintaining a storehouse of data and experience that is enormously helpful in resolving cases. Having learned that the best chance of finding the disappeared loved ones is in the immediate aftermath of their disappearance before it becomes a ‘cold case,’ the charity works furiously to resolve cases quickly.
Every parent in the world has experienced that sinking moment of primal panic when they have temporarily lost sight of their young child and immediately think the worst has happened Thankfully, most times those difficult moments end happily, when the parent learns their child has wandered down the next aisle in a supermarket, or is fascinated by a bright, shiny object in a toy store. When we see that our kid is safe we are so relieved we almost literally fall down on our knees to thank God .
In Brazil all too often that initial moment of parental panic is but the start of a nightmare; hope crumbles into despair, as parents confront the stark reality that their beloved child has VANISHED. For a fortunate few, there may eventually be a positive ending, as days, weeks, months, even years later, mother and child are reunited. When that happens the mists of uncertainty and dread lift but guilt and trauma may remain forever. For others, however, there is no light at the end of the tunnel; their worst fears are realized when they receive official confirmation their child is dead. In those terrible instances, all too frequent in today’s Brazil, a mother is overwhelmed by grief, the devastating sensation of loss, and bitterness for the sorrow and bad fortune life has brought her, until the memory of her child gradually fades.
Who can comprehend the emotional pain of a mother burying her own child? But there are other terrible pains: For the mother whose child has vanished and remains vanished, there is no positive or negative closure of her nightmare, only a life-long sentence to a twilight existence of guilt and uncertainty. Unique among Brazilian charities, Mães da Sé is helping the families of the disappeared gain the necessary strength of mind to face the future with hope, dignity and respect. It has become the indispensable hope of traumatized parents; in spurring greater efforts in law enforcement, in comforting and fortifying distraught loved ones, Mães da Sé provides an extraordinary service to the people of Brazil.
This non-governmental association depends on private donations from corporations and individuals to survive. Disappearances are an affliction in Brazil. Mães da Sé needs your help to combat this terrible problem. Specifically, it needs your help to improve its website, aid the growing numbers of grieving parents, and support its record, document, and data operations.
We ask you to contribute to Mães da Sé’s amazing work. Please click on the donate button. We are deeply grateful for your generosity.
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Marcia Do Vales
My name is Marcia Do Vales, Brazilian born, film actress and producer, currently based in London, UK working with a British film production company Templeheart Films in several projects.
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