The Cabrinian Way at the Santa Cabrini Youth Centre

Saint Cabrini Youth Center is located in Vila Ir. Dulce, outskirts of Teresina – Piauí, Northeast region of Brazil. It is one of the largest urban occupations in Latin America, formed by families coming from migratory flows from the countryside of Piauí and other Northeast and Northern states of Brazil due to economic, climate (drought), political and social issues (impoverishment and precariousness of family relationships) in search of better living conditions.

We, Missionaries of the Sacred Heart arrived in Vila Ir. Dulce, in 2000 as an affective and active presence for these families and, especially, for children and adolescents. Living the Cabrinian charism, we take on the message of Jesus Christ, the source from which all the principles and values animating the Cabrinian educational processes emerge from.

Faith urges us to trust in God and to risk responding as disciples – missionaries of Jesus, to the values lived with lay colleagues and families assisted, strengthening our commitment to the excluded and vulnerable ones of our society. As an evangelizing space, we took over the mission to contribute to life advocacy, living the principles of social inclusion, guaranteeing rights; protagonism; empowerment; advocacy (political impact) and teamwork; and the Values: solidarity, justice, compassion and social and environmental responsibility.

Advocacy and Political Impact

As a way to exercise citizenship and work to guarantee the rights of children and adolescents in the municipality of Teresina, our participation in rights councils and forums, committees for the defense of children and adolescents challenges us every day to seek new ways of being a Cabrinian presence in these spaces. Our actions take place in the effective monitoring of the progress of Bills related to children and adolescents; in social control, monitoring the application of conquered rights and in the eradication of rights violations. In local Institutions empowerment (resident associations, women’s groups, etc.) to act in public hearings; meetings, conferences to guarantee and advocate children and adolescents´rights.

Women´s Empowerment

Thinking of a human formation transcending the market logic and responding to the Sustainable Development Goals, we accepted to work on SDG 5: Gender Equality, aiming at strengthening and empowering thirty teenagers. This empowerment takes place in the human, Christian and citizenship spheres. Thus, our projects aim at promoting the empowerment of girls so that they become information multipliers, preventing and facing rights violations situations through socio-educational, playful and formative actions allied to the use of technologies.

We believe through education, gender equity and mobilization among peers we will be contributing to the empowerment of girls and strengthening the deconstruction and construction process of new perspectives on women, gender equality and the end of violence against women. Another key point in this construction is the strengthening of the Safeguarding Network through partnerships with the Municipal Council for the Rights of Children and Adolescents; CRAS SUL II (Centros de Referência de Assistência Social) and the Municipal Secretariat for Public Policies for Women of Teresina and the Public Prosecution.

Hunger – Cry that echoes in the Heart of God

Hearing the cry that echoes from the pandemic moment and Jesus’s command “Give them something to eat yourselves”, we joined forces with other organizations to help 350 families with basic food baskets for a five-month period. Families who are unemployed, hungry and hopeless.

Thus, we reaffirm our World Vision: We believe the world needs universal brotherhood, strengthening of human values and the exercise of citizenship to build an inclusive society, based on integral ecology (Laudato Sí) and sustainable development (SDG) to empower people in situations of vulnerability and social selectivities.

Sr. Roseni Teresinha Gonçalves, MSC. She holds a Bachelor´s degree in Theology and Philosophy and a postgraduate and a master´s degree in Biblical Theology from EST School – Lutheran/CEBI. Postgraduate in Social Management. Financial Director of the Saint Cabrini Youth Center and Municipal Councilor for the Rights of Children and Adolescents in Teresina.

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