Abandoned children living on city streets are prey to drug dealers and prostitution; shanty towns with sub-human living conditions; high infant mortality rates; and a severe lack of adequate and accessible medical care brought five Franciscan Sisters of the Poor to Brazil at the request of Pope John XXIII in 1960. They settled in the State of Goias.
Over time the ministry expanded and today thirteen Sisters offer direct services to the suffering poor in Goiania, Ipameri, Jatai, and Pires do Rio. Daycare centers allow parents to work, knowing their children are safe in a loving environment. After-school programs offer supervised recreational activities. A group home for disabled seniors provides comfort and socialization. Education and skill training centers inspire hope and support personal empowerment.
GOIANIA The Education, Culture, and Leisure Project Children, youth and adults learn new skills and grow socially in their community at the Frances Schervier Formation Center. The children participate in supervised play and there are adult classes in arts, crafts, baking, and social skills. Volunteer students from the University help provide spiritual assistance and teach language classes including English.
The Frances Schervier Formation Center Located in the central-western region of Brazil, the Center promotes education, culture and personal empowerment among neighborhood residents. The Sisters offer English classes, music courses, community recreation, sports and physical training, and programs for youth groups.
Clar’Art Project The CLAR'ART Project takes place in Goiania and is focused on serving a female clientele, being open to adolescents, young people and especially women in the most mature life stages.
The main objective of this project is teaching several arts and crafts abilities, lifting the spirit of community. We encourage those more advanced to pass on what they already learned to the newcomers who joined the group. The sale of the crafts produced also helps them to improve their families' income.
IPAMERI St. Francis Home & Kindergarten Through this collaborative program with the local government, the Sisters care for children from broken homes, children of working widows, and unattended children. Many volunteers assist the Sisters with meals, healthcare, and educational classes. JATAI John XXIII Daycare Center Infant and child mortality in Brazil is very high, the result of poverty, malnutrition, and abandonment. The Franciscan Sisters of the Poor, in conjunction with the Diocese, care for hundreds of infants and children each year at the John XXIII Home and Kindergarten. Children from four months to four years of age receive loving care for 11 hours every day in a family environment while their parents work. They have three meals, health care, and hygiene training.
PIRES DO RIO Sowing Project (Projeto Semear) The Sowing the Seeds Project, created in 2018, serves 45 children and adolescents from 6 to 17 years of age, four hours per day, as an after school activity. Children and adolescents receive guidance and help with their homework; and provided a secure environment to develop their social skills in multiple group activities such as dance, painting, different handicrafts, storytelling, music and various forms of oral and physical expression where everyone feels included, both the children and the adolescents served.
Sunflower Project Children and adolescents of low-income parents enjoy free recreational and educational activities at this outreach program while their parents are at work. More than 100 families participate in the family education program which welcomes children up to five years of age for 10 hours each day. Young people from six to seventeen years of age also attend for four hours daily.