8 results for 'Gregory John Smith'
The story continues...
During a visit to Wender’s family, the year after his tragic death, I discovered there was a new, but unexpected member in the family; a beautiful little girl. Not recalling Wender’s mother being pregnant on my earlier visits that year I really wondered where this sweet little angel had come from.
On asking about her, Wender’s mother simply replied: “Look a little closer and tell me what immediately comes to mind...”
My answer was the inevitable question: “Wender...?”
....and Wender it was!
That young rascal that we all missed so much... (more)
Wender belonged to the first group of kids rescued from the streets by me between 1993 and 1995. He was 13 years old at the time.
His story was an incredible one, although not uncommon in a country hosting hundreds of thousands of abandoned and neglected children on the streets of its major cities; himself being lost to the streets after having run away from home at the age of nine together with a young boy from his neighborhood, who already had strong ties with the streets at the time.
Once engulfed by the other kids on the streets Wender was soon indulging in all that is far... (more)
It was all over the news in Singapore and everyone at school was talking about it; Hayley Mills and Trevor Howard were staying at the Raffles Hotel for the filming of “Pretty Polly”. Obviously this was nothing new for the already famous Raffles, which had hosted celebrities like Charlie Chaplin, John Wayne and Ava Gardner, as well as other personalities such as Somerset Maugham, Pablo Neruda and James Mitchener. The hotel had been the setting for innumerable film productions and was now to set the scene for Hayley’s latest film, so as a teenage fan of the then 21-year old actress, I simply... (more)
Roney and Claudiney’s story represents not only their tragic lives, but the lives of so many underprivileged children in both the world’s poorest and wealthiest countries, abandoned by our neglect and our insatiable appetite for self gain. Greed has no class or colour.
Two beloved brothers, united by their involuntary dependency to the streets, forced upon them in childhood by the insecurities of a malfunctioning home and parents.
Roney, the youngest and a born leader, was to meet his match in the face of Brazil’s brutal and almost untouchable street kid killers. I told that story... (more)
...a continuation of my story on street kids Roney and Claudiney, Surviving The Streets of Brazil....
Roney and his brother Claudiney had just successfully finished a 30-day hospital internment ordered by the juvenile judge, to recover them from a serious drug relapse. Now they were ready to take a short holiday break together with me, my son and some of the other kids in our street migration prevention programme. It would have been an ideal week to re-strengthen our relationship after them both having lost some time to this drug relapse so we were preparing to go to Hummingbird’s small-holding... (more)
During the delicate phase of motivating children to leave the streets for good, their worries become our worries. Will they survive the time they will need to reach this important turning point in their lives? Each individual child hides an anonymous history, with debts that some day will need to be paid. For a child trying to survive the mean streets of the big cities in Brazil, he would be much safer riding a wild bull at rodeo. Their involvement with the underworld and its multiple criminal activities guarantees that sooner or later these kids will end up spending a good part of their childhood... (more)
To emphasize the problems of police brutality in Brazil, Amnesty International had stated in a report published just before the incident:
"From prison cells in Brazil and Peru to police stations in Mexico and the United States, scores of men, women and children are tortured every day, in spite of national and international laws, and their torturers continue to walk free. Amnesty International's new report highlights the countries where torture inflicted by state officials is widespread or persistent. Brazil is one such country, and the case of fifteen-year-old José is an example: arrested... (more)
Questioning one's life values...
I sometimes have difficulty coming to terms with the modern world's culture and often ask myself what is it really all worth for the next generation. What kind of world is it that we honestly desire for our children? Are we really conscience of the choices we make and of the consequences of our decision making for future generations?
In my daily work with at-risk children and young people during my last 20 years in Brazil, I like to believe that what we are offering those children through my organisation, the Children At Risk Foundation, are life... (more)
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