Serrana's Community News

Thanks to the generous support of donors, we’re making great progress toward the well-being of children and their families. These are a few of the areas we focused on in the past year:

The Serrana community is located in Alagoas, which is the smallest of the Brazilian states, as well as the poorest. Most families live in homes made out of wood and mud. Serrana has a tropical climate, with temperatures ranging from 20℃ to 37℃ . The majority of families struggle to provide for their children through subsistence farming, growing sugar cane, manioc, beans, cotton, corn, tobacco, and rice. However, the land is not always conducive to growing crops because it is so dry.

Access to water is a pressing concern in this drought-affected region. Vegetation is sparse, and part of the area lies in a small, desert-like zone. Roads are rough and unpaved, which makes transportation difficult and goods more expensive. In the wet season, roads are often flooded, and the community can experience periods of isolation.
Child Protection
  • 1 child parliament is empowering young people to advocate for their rights and participate in community decisions
  • 19 children survivors of abuse received support to help them cope with trauma and recover
  • 3 community groups are in place to protect children by monitoring and reporting child rights violations
  • 30 young people are participating in community decisions and advocating for the protection and wellbeing of children
  • 100 children are getting extra help to improve their reading and writing through camps and classes
  • 11 schools received classroom tools and resources to create a safer and stimulating learning environment for students
  • 182 teachers learned child-friendly teaching methods to improve the quality of education for children

  • 120 people were trained on practices to preserve and manage the environment and its resources
  • 20 farmers learned techniques to improve crop and livestock production to better provide for their children and families
  • 96 people received vocational, business and finance training, improving their opportunities to earn a steady income

Explore Serrana

current conditions

To protect the privacy of children, this map shows only the general area of the community, not the exact location.

The needs in Serrana

Economic Development
Few farmers are aware of improved agricultural or livestock management techniques, and they lack the knowledge and the resources to practice effective irrigation. In addition, unrestrained cutting of trees for the production of charcoal has left the land unprotected and susceptible to erosion. About one-third of families are headed by women since the men have left in search of work elsewhere.

Health Care
A major challenge to overall health is the lack of potable water. Children often drink unsafe water, leaving them susceptible to waterborne diseases that cause diarrhea. It is a vicious cycle: diarrhea can contribute to malnutrition, and if malnutrition already exists, diarrhea rapidly worsens the child's condition. Another key health concern in Serrana is the high pregnancy rate among teenagers. Early pregnancy can have health consequences for mothers and infants alike.

Most children in Serrana are behind in their schooling, and their ages often do not correspond to their grade level. Drop-out rates are extremely high, to the extent that, in the upper grades of elementary school, only 30-40% of children are still enrolled. Some children leave school because their parents have no choice but to have them work to contribute to the household income. Teachers lack sufficient training, and many have not completed higher education themselves. About 43% of the population of Serrana is illiterate.
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Life cycle of a sponsorship community

Serrana,  is in Phase 2

PHASE 2: Evaluate and grow

We monitor progress and make adjustments to meet goals. More community members become involved, lead projects and gain ownership of their success.