Women receive housing and social support in a project in Minas Gerais

One of the women the project helped with is Janina Begu. She lives in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, and with her mother ill, she was forced to give up her informal babysitting job to take care of her mother, who died shortly thereafter.

With sadness came depression. Janina did not have the financial means to pay her rent. Thus, she began a dark path through the streets of the capital, Minas Gerais, where she stayed for four years. “Living on the streets is not easy. We don’t have a place to sleep and shower, and we don’t have lunch until we receive donations. There is a lot of violence, prejudice and contempt. You have to sleep with one eye closed and the other open.”

The former educator explains that the indifference of society increases the suffering of the homeless. People think that because we live on the street, we are inferior, but we are not. We are human, like everyone else. However, we are in a vulnerable position and need shelter.

Reception and security

In 2020, Janina obtained this refuge through the Casa de Mulheres project, managed by the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), which has the support of the Belo Horizonte municipal administration.

According to Sinara Rocha, the project coordinator, about 50 homeless women are welcomed at the site in the Copacabana neighbourhood. “We provide them with a safe and comfortable home, in conditions in which, through technical support and access to other social policies, they can overcome their vulnerability,” she explains.

The reception house has several furnished rooms, a kitchen, a reception area, a spacious living room, a swimming pool, a library, and comfortable beds, among other amenities. Senara also emphasizes that women have access to health care, food, education, and entertainment, among many other benefits that it prepares for their reintegration into society.

Transformation and independence

This is what happened to our Janina. With the support of the ADRA project, she was referred to professional qualification courses in the areas of food handling, cooking and handicrafts. “I came home with goals. I didn’t want to stop. I wanted to change my life. With the help of counselors, I followed courses and took care of my health that was failing. My life radically changed,” she says sympathetically.

Janina resumed her studies and completed high school. In 2021, she received a housing grant, a subsidy provided by the municipality of Belo Horizonte, which allows beneficiaries to leave the shelter to live independently and safely in their own home. “It was what I dreamed of the most: to have my own home. Adra has supported me so much, and gave me a chance to move on with my life and have my independence,” Janina celebrates.

As an example to outwit and motivate other service beneficiaries, Janaína was hired by ADRA and began working as a kitchen assistant at Casa de Mulheres, a project that welcomed her.

Sinara notes that “this project is essential to help women on the streets who suffer from different types of violence, especially in the current context in which many people find themselves, without the slightest conditions of survival.”

can you help

The Casa de Mulheres project is looking for volunteers who can work in workshops and vocational courses and also help donate feminine hygiene items, clothes in good condition, shoes, underwear, and bedding, among other needs.

You can also donate through pix CNPJ 16.524.054 / 0002-77 and help dozens of people who are going through tough times like Janaína.

Volunteers interested in participating in the projects can schedule a visit to the unit to learn more about all the actions that are very necessary for vulnerable women.

This article was originally published on the South American Division News website

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