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Graça was born in Brazil but lived in England for 32 years until she sadly passed away in August, 2017. She hated injustice – and, for decades, was active politically in playing her part in trying to help reduce poverty in Brazil. She also always had a dream that one day she would personally be able to help the children and teenagers of Brazil’s shantytown slums. It is in order to help realize that dream that we’ve set up the Graça Rocha-Keys Commemoration Appeal to help a charity called Task Brasil to do that.
Task Brasil is a long-established UK-based charity which runs an activity and educational centre for shantytown kids in Rio de Janeiro. In Brazil, ordinary schools don’t operate all day – so the Task Brasil centre not only gives the kids many additional skills but also keeps them off the streets and out of the clutches of the shantytown drug gangs. It has superb sports facilities, a swimming pool and workshop rooms in which to teach maths, English, IT, handicraft-making, life skills, drama and music.
However, the centre is in desperate need of additional funds. Indeed because of a lack of funds, it only functions for three days a week. Eventually, Task Brasil wants to operate seven days a week, 12 hours per day. That would enable it to help up to 200 kids – almost four times the number that they are able to help at present. What’s more, with additional teachers, youth leaders and child psychologists, they would be able to further increase the quality and effectiveness of the help each child receives. Extra cash will also enable them to carry out essential maintenance and crucial repairs to the building.
The aim of the Graça Rocha-Keys Commemoration Appeal is to raise money to help Task Brasil attain those objectives.
The situation in Brazil’s shanty town slums is truly desperate. As those of you who have watched the award-winning Brazilian film, City of God, will realise, not only do the slum kids have to endure terrible poverty – but they often have to exist within an environment of extreme violence in which whole communities live in the shadow of ruthless drug gangs. Poverty and unemployment breed hopelessness, desperation, violence and crime.
This permanent fund-raising appeal is Graça’s and our attempt to contribute in some small way to improving the situation, to help give at least some shantytown kids a way out, to give them skills and hope for the future.
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Any donations however small or big would be appreciated.
Thank you for reading this.
David, Michael & Camile Rocha-Keys xxx