I often visit the Hummingbird project on the net.
It is tragic to see the photos, and every one of them has a tragic, but meaningful theme.
This guy runs the project to stop street kids, and ones in danger, of turning into criminals, and trying to get them a better life.
Balancing between hell and heaven.
Alberto is ten years old. He lives with his father alone. His father drinks too much and that leaves Alberto in rather a delicate situation. His mother he does not know, she's been in prison too long, since he was small, because she killed a pregnant woman. Alberto reckons she will spend thirty years there.
Alberto balances between many uncertainties with his father, who puts strict but inconsequent limitations on him, depending on his own state of mind. Things like not letting him go to school or participate in activities at Hummingbird. Alberto is still too young to go against his dad in situations like these, but the time will come as he grows.
It's important we follow-up a kid like Alberto, who stands in danger of hitting the streets in a tough way. We are his parachute and safety net in rough storms, that's important, it prevents him from becoming yet another street kid.
The mark on his throat was his drunk dad last night.
These positively joyful faces and colours make me really happy and give me strength, so much happiness and so much strength!
But then I ask myself; how long can we keep them so positive? How long can we hold their heads high above the tormented waters that constantly surround them?
In a society that has nothing to offer to an impoverished and underprivileged kid, a society that has forgotten its own children..., Hummingbird means an entire world!
So, if there is so little hope in such a society, how then can we keep them off the streets? Why? Is it at all possible to raise their hopes and create opportunities for a better and more optimistic future for these kids, even if they see no light in the end of the dark tunnel?
We believe so, ...and they believe us!
Sometimes I get so frightened just thinking of what the future has in store for each and every one of these kids, and even more so when I realize how much they believe and trust in us. If I think too hard about it then I loose my sleep because I too have to face the facts of life, facts that are more than enough to destroy whatever little optimism one is able to mobilize in oneself. I mean damn it, they still shoot kids, don't they!
So what are the real values in life for us human beings? I also ask myself that question, time and time again! But I get no real answers because real answers for me can only be found in terms of concrete human actions. Sorry to say, tangible actions are something we lack in this country, where words still hang loose on the slippery tongues of those who govern it. A country that still accepts the fact that hundreds of thousands of kids sleep out on the streets in the big cities every single night, instead of living and smiling like the kids in our photos do, kids who live and smile for each new day because we give them something to believe in and to live for.
So why does our government not do the same? Why does our population simply accept the fact and turn a blind eye?
What we at Hummingbird use in an entire year to keep each of our kids off the streets, the government uses each week to incarcerate kids who are in conflict with the law, locked away in public reform centers, better known as criminal high schools. We actually use a great deal of our taxpayer's money to train hardened criminals in Brazil, certainly not to recuperate them!
Just take a look at these and the following photos and tell me who's losing out in this game! If you think we're worth the small investment needed to keep a kid off the streets instead of in and out of the state sponsored criminal high schools, then simply go ahead and do your little bit, your concrete little monthly action! We need you and so do our kids, because if we are to wait for government reforms to do the job, we too will end up joining the ranks of our kids on the losing end!
Day and night he looks after these kids, I dunno how he does it, he is a saint!
Whoever stole the Sun, put it back and we'll drop all the charges!