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: 2016

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.
  • 2,000 children and youth learned about their rights, how to voice their opinions, and ways to protect themselves from harm.
  • 13 child parliaments are empowering young people to advocate for their rights and participate in community decisions.
  • 472 young people are leading or attending child parliaments to advocate for their rights and influence local decisions.
  • 30 schools were renovated or furnished with educational materials to provide a better learning environment for students.
  • 12 teachers and volunteers learned child-friendly teaching methods to improve the quality of education for children.
  • 200 children and youth are improving their learning through tutoring and extracurricular activities like clubs and camps.
  • 112 children and youth were trained in essential life skills such as critical thinking, self-esteem and communication.
  • 3 water sources are providing access to safe water and protecting children and families against waterborne diseases.
  • 30 savings groups are helping children and adults save money and access loans to grow businesses or cover basic expenses.
  • 600 children and adults are members of savings groups, helping families meet their financial needs and access small loans.
  • 472 youth were equipped to enter the job market through apprenticeships, vocational training or career counselling.

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.