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Families and Favelas: Why No One Wants to Raise Their Kids in Brazil's Slums

Favelas are Brazil’s shanty towns, where more than 11.5 million people live. Starting back in the 1800s, favelas came out of a lack of housing for millions of families moving from rural areas seeking work in cities. In the northeast region of the country, Fortaleza has the largest favelas and tops Brazil in terms of violence.

Favelas are desperate places for families, with no proper electricity, sanitation or housing. And since there aren’t enough jobs, crime and drug trafficking are common ways for families to make money. Young girls fall fate to sexual assault and prostitution, and dads are often pulled into drug and alcohol abuse.

With so much heartache, one might wonder why any family would choose to live in such conditions. In northeast Brazil, persistent drought has evaporated hope for farmers and ranchers. With failing economies in rural regions, many moms and dads see no other option but to move into crowded cities in search for work and opportunity.

This is where Jacob’s Well comes in. By implementing community development and economic opportunities in rural communities, families discover ways to stay intact and avoid moving into favelas. Designing sustainable water solutions for small communities promotes both healthy living and economic possibilities. And beyond the economic good, Jacob’s Well helps plant a church in each village, promoting spiritual growth along with family and economic recovery. Investing in Jacob’s Well brings hope to families that goes beyond temporary fixes and short-term efforts, giving moms and dads a fighting chance to raise their kids outside Brazil’s favelas. Thank you for joining in this effort!

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