Kids in city slums
According to UNICEF, about one billion children and adolescents live in cities. Many children enjoy the advantages of urban life, such as access to schools, hospitals, and recreational facilities. However, for the millions of youth living in slums, life is more grim. They start life on poverty's front lines, without access to education, infrastructure, or sanitation, are subject to hunger and disease, and are thrust prematurely into adult responsibilities. Read on to see how programs in Mexico City, Mumbai, Nairobi, Jakarta, Dhaka, and Rio de Janeiro are working with children living in slums — then join the conversation below.
$22 making a difference in child labor
Zyma Islam, Dhaka Contributor
The Asian University for Women Writing Team
Five-year-old Shima is on the bottom rung in the human ecosystem of the sprawling slum habitat clinging to the banks of Buriganga. She squats outside the door of a bhangari shop, a shop which sorts out waste for recycling, sifting through the thick black riverside muck for miniscule bits of copper fiber.
"I am too young to work in the bhangari shops," she said, "so I forage bits of this red metal from the waste piles of the shops and sell them to the recycling factories."
Her elder brother, Noyon, the proud holder of a "proper job," spends twelve hours a day as a bhangari, snapping off needles from used syringes. His arms are riddled with blotched scars from needle pricks, burned to cauterize the wound and prevent the spreading of diseases.
The two siblings live in a one-room shanty atop a two-story makeshift apartment block balanced precariously on stilts in the heavy river mud. The residential block is just across a narrow lane from the commercial zone; every day, thousands of children like Shima and Noyon cross the divide between the safety of their homes and the dangers of their profession.
For these children, it is only $15 that makes a difference between a secure future, and the perils of their occupation. This is why Selim, a ragpicker, happily said yes to UNICEF's cash-transfer program, which allocates $22 worth of grants to him every month.
Selim is one of the 500 children chosen by this pilot project of UNICEF, in collaboration with the government of Bangladesh. This project, aiming at cash transfers to keep children out of child labor, is a part of their social safety net (SSN) programme portfolio, which is inclusive of issues such as disaster adaptation and assistance for the handicapped, with post-retirement SSN programmes taking a major share.
Assurance of the continuation of education is one of the pre-requisites of the cash-transfer programme, along with other conditions like withdrawing the child from hazardous labor, ensuring that optimum health and nutrition standards are met, and agreeing that the child will not be subjected to underage marriage.
The cash grants do more than run the daily life of a family. They also allow for spending on health and nutrition, investment in home-enterprises, saving for the future, and insuring against probable disasters. Not only is the grant more than the average income made by child labor, but the money brought in by the child is no longer susceptible to factors like wage exploitation, unexpected closures, natural disasters, political strikes, or illnesses. This allows for steady saving and spending techniques where children are the beneficiaries.
However, the 500 children benefitting from this programme are simply a drop in the bucket, when one out of every five children in the slums of Dhaka is involved in labor classified as hazardous. Noyon and Shima are, as yet, beyond the reach of a normal childhood and a secure future. Even with the Government of Bangladesh spending 2.5 percent of the total GDP on SSN programmes, UNICEF's target population numbers at 10,000 children only, leaving behind a few million more like Noyon and Shima to risk their lives every day.
Dhaka's community on URB.im is managed by a group of students from the Research Center on Development and Humanitarian Action at the Asian University for Women (AUW). One of the major foci of the Research Center is urban management, governance, and poverty in Asia. AUW is a liberal arts institution for women from all over Asia, located in Bangladesh. With an international faculty and student body, AUW provides a critical pathway to leadership development, economic progress, and social and political equality.
Mathare's Tina Turner
Katy Fentress, Nairobi Community Manager
Typically, children in slums are depicted as having few opportunities to be able to break free from the cycle of poverty that they have been born into. It is a common assumption that slum kids spend their time doing menial jobs, do not go to school, engage in various levels of petty crime and largely depend on charity to be able to achieve a better life.
Little attention is directed to the real game changers in these areas: those who were born and brought up in the slum and have made it their lifelong mission to be able to support children who cannot afford to go to school and have no ways of passing their days in a productive way. It is first and foremost these people and their endeavours in the community that should be supported in their quest to raise the standard of living of those who live in informal marginalised settlements.
This week, as part of our children in slums topic, we are describing a day in the life of Tina Turner Warimu, a child who, with the help of one such mentor and her own determination, has begun to pave the road for a bright future which holds promise and hope.
Tina Turner Wairimu is a 13-year-old girl who lives in Mathare with her mother and four younger siblings. She attends a small private school called Destiny Junior Academy and is in Standard Seven (9th grade). One of the top students in her class, Tina is also a fiercely competitive football (soccer) player and is the captain of the local True Colours under-sixteen girls' team.
Tina's daily routine is very tight and leaves little space for idle play. Awake at 6:30am, she must first bathe inside the single room the entire family lives in with the water her mother buys every day. As the oldest child, she gets to bathe first while her younger siblings wait their turn outside. After her morning ablutions, Tina takes tea with milk but no sugar and a piece of white bread. Next she rushes off to school on her own while her mother sets off to work in a local laundry service where clothes are washed by hand.
Tina recently changed schools. Until December last year she attended Valley View Academy, a larger private school in Mathare that is a slightly longer walk from her home. Although her siblings still attend Valley View, Tina decided to change because her coach, Austin Ajowi, recently founded Destiny Junior Academy and she felt she would be happy attending a school that was run by him.
Ajowi, 36, known locally as "Coaches," is a widely celebrated and respected man around Mathare. He single-handedly founded the True Colours football club almost ten years ago when he decided he wanted to find something to keep the local out-of-school street kids busy. Since then, the club has expanded, and Ajowi currently coaches 15 different female and male junior and professional teams who play in tournaments around the country. Ajowi worked as a volunteer at Valley View Academy for a few years before deciding he wanted to found a school of his own. With the help of dedicated young teachers from the area, Ajowi set up a small school with six classrooms, all of which are packed with students eager to learn. The school charges the students a small fee, but those who cannot afford to pay can continue to attend class. In addition to this, the school receives informal funding from friends and well-wishers who want to see it grow and prosper.
Tina spends a good part of her day, from 8am to 5pm, at school. She loves school because she can spend time with her friends and continue learning science, which is by far her favourite subject. The reason she likes science is because she wants to learn about the environment, which she believes is important because, in her words, "It is the air we breathe which must be kept clean if we want our planet to be healthy." Tina dreams of becoming an air hostess and travelling the world.
Six days a week Tina goes to football practice when she gets out of school. Tina takes her duties as team captain very seriously because it means she takes care of her teammates, and also because when they win, she is the one who gets the most attention.
Tina will be trying out for a Norwegian female junior team in the coming months; if she is selected, it will mean having to leave home to pursue football as a professional player. Tina is excited at the idea of being able to travel to Europe, although she is afraid she will miss her mother and brothers and sisters.
After football practice Tina goes home and bathes. She does five maths sums before and after doing her homework. The sums are an extra-curricular activity that she is not required to do. After homework she eats her dinner and then helps her mother wash the dishes before falling into bed with her siblings.
Bollywood comes to the slums
Carlin Carr, Mumbai Community Manager
When Kid Powered Media rolls into a Delhi slum with its portable movie theater in the back of a white Suzuki van, everyone shows up. The 10-foot screen lights up with a battery-powered projector to showcase a drama-filled flick. But this is not your typical Bollywood film, and the stars on the screen are not your typical Bollywood actors. The films all star kids from the community who have written and performed the socially-focused movies to raise awareness about issues that concern them, as kids.
"Our media keeps children's voices at the center so that kids can help kids in fun and entertaining ways," says Kid Powered Media's Facebook page. The goal is to get communities talking, and help kids to generate solutions that fit their unique circumstances. Themes often focus on alcohol abuse, teacher absenteeism, domestic violence issues and gender awareness. "The challenges for kids in slums are not black and white," explains Alex Heywood, a Canadian who now calls Delhi home since he founded Kid Powered Media in 2010. He says India's school system notoriously teaches by rote and that social issues are difficult to discuss in this mechanical way. Kid Powered Media introduces students to storytelling through writing and acting workshops that empower them to create, discuss, brainstorm and devise new ways of tackling issues that affect them.
Heywood stresses that the kids are in charge, because they often talk about issues in unexpected ways. For example, they were creating a comic book about alcoholism, and Heywood says that while he would have started with the health repercussions, the kids wanted to link drinking to reputation. "They didn't want to come out and say stop drinking," says Heywood, "they wanted to emphasize consuming less so that they didn't come out into the streets and make a scene that would embarrass everyone." Capturing this viewpoint, Heywood believes, is the key to devising solutions that work for the youth in the communities.
Heywood came up with the idea for Kid Powered Media while working on an agricultural project in rural areas of India. He recalls seeing vans that would cross the countryside with big screens on the back to show the far-off communities the latest film. People would come from all around to see the moveable movies. Today, Heywood has brought the rural phenomenon to the city and runs Delhi's first portable cinema.
Kid Powered Media is part of a growing trend to use theater and the arts to help low-income communities discuss social issues and stigmas. In Mumbai, organizations have been using street theater to discuss taboo themes. As Heywood says, there is some liberty granted through the arts that allows these voices and ideas to enter these communities. "We're not pointing fingers saying 'this is your kid doing drugs.' We're using characters to say these problems exist and to bring more awareness to them. We're giving kids a platform to do something."
One of the student groups in Kid Powered Media's weekly club classes decided to create a comic book on education. Since 50 percent of Kid Powered Media attendees no longer attend school - girls may need to help in the house and boys may need to earn money - the book explored options for these kids outside of the traditional school day. The creative group, called the Funky Boyz (all the club groups give themselves names), brought forward alternatives such as skills training and night school. In this sense, creating media becomes more than fostering imagination and discussion. The stories are platforms to solicit and distribute ideas and dreams for their communities. For these kids, art transcends aesthetics and becomes a tangible outlet for working through community problems and helps youth to be part of the solution.
All videos can be found on Kid Powered Media's Vimeo page.
Sirkus sosial untuk pemberdayaan anak-anak Cilincing
Yuyun Harmono, Jakarta Community Manager
In the slum of Cilincing, North Jakarta, many kids drop out of school as their parents are unable to pay for school fees. Dan Roberts established the Red Nose Foundation to introduce the Red Nose circus to these children. Circus helps develop their skills and increases self-confidence. Many of them are able to go back to school with a scholarship provided by the Foundation. Thanks to the circus, kids in the Cilincing slum have been able to express themselves creatively, become active citizens, and attend school.
Cilincing, Jakarta Utara adalah satu dari 392 perkampungan kumuh di Jakarta berdasarkan data Biro Pusat Statistik tahun 2011. Angka putus sekolah di Cilincing tergolong tinggi. Ada beberapa sebab, turut bekerja membantu keuangan keluarga menjadi alasan utama. Alasan lain, masih banyak iuran dari pihak sekolah yang harus dibayar, misalnya untuk buku, seragam dan kebutuhan penunjang belajar. Bagi mereka yang bersekolah jauh dari tempat tinggal, biaya transportasi menjadi kendala tersendiri.
Seringkali, penghasilan orang tua mereka yang sebagian besar buruh pengupas kerang hijau dan nelayan tidak cukup untuk membiayai sekolah anak-anaknya. Anak-anak di Cilincing terpaksa menanggalkan seragam sekolah mereka, bekerja mengupas kerang hijau, mengamen dan mengasong. Dengan realitas demikian, sulit bagi anak-anak di perkampungan kumuh ini untuk bisa lepas dari lingkaran kemiskinan. Masih adakah harapan bagi masa depan mereka?
Harapan itu dibawa oleh seorang badut. Ya, badut. Awal tahun 2008, Dan Roberts menginjakkan kaki di RT 13/07, Kalibaru, Cilincing. Ia mengenalkan Sirkus Hidung Merah, kegiatan yang dibiayai oleh Badut Tanpa Batas. Ia mengajarkan sirkus pada anak-anak di perkampungan kumuh tersebut. Namun yang ini bukan sembarang sirkus. Metode yang digunakan dikenal sebagai Sirkus Sosial, yaitu sebuah pendekatan inovatif untuk intervensi sosial yang berdasarkan seni sirkus.
Dalam pendekatan ini, tujuan utamanya bukan untuk mempelajari seni sirkus. Tujuan utamanya untuk membantu pengembangan pribadi dan sosial peserta dengan meningkatkan kepercayaan diri, menjadi warga yang aktif, mengekspresikan kreativitas, dan mengembangkan potensi mereka. Misalnya, belajar menyulap dapat mengembangkan ketekunan, akrobat dapat mengembangkan kerja sama tim, dan atraksi badut dapat mengembangkan kepercayaan diri.
Perjumpaaan dengan anak-anak di Cilincing mendorong Dan Roberts mendirikan Yayasan Hidung Merah (YHM) pada tahun 2009. Setahun kemudian, Pusat Sirkus Cilincing didirikan atas bantuan dari berbagai pihak. Lantai pertama dari bangunan dua lantai berukuran 8x6 meter itu digunakan untuk latihan Sirkus dan kelas seni lainnya. Sedangkan lantai kedua dilengkapi dengan meja bagi anak didik untuk belajar Bahasa Inggris dan Matematika.
Hingga saat ini, kegiatan belajar dan latihan sirkus berkembang tidak hanya di perkampungan Cilincing, namun juga di Bintaro Lama, Jakarta Selatan. Jumlah murid mencapai 200 anak. Kegiatan belajar di Bintaro lama diadakan setiap hari Senin dan Rabu. Sedangkan di Cilincing setiap hari Selasa sampai Jumat. Tiap hari Minggu, 35 anak paling jago sirkus dari kedua kelompok tersebut bergabung untuk latihan bersama di aula Jakarta International School.
Keahlian sirkus yang dimiliki anak-anak ini ditampilkan dalam pertunjukan tahunan Sirkus Hidung Merah di Cilincing. Mereka juga sering tampil dalam Sirkus amal maupun komersial. Beberapa kali anak-anak ini juga diundang untuk mengisi acara di berbagai stasiun Televisi. YHM menyadari bahwa fokus mereka adalah pendidikan, bukan seringnya tampil di berbagai pertunjukan. Oleh sebab itu, dalam sebulan agenda tampil di berbagai acara dibatasi hanya dua kali, kecuali waktu libur sekolah.
YHM juga berkomitmen untuk mendukung anak didik melanjutkan pendidikan formal. Sejak tahun 2011, diluncurkan program beasiswa untuk anak didik Sirkus Hidung Merah. Antara tahun 2012-2013, beasiswa diberikan kepada 480 anak dengan pembagian 430 anak mendapat beasiswa sebagian dan 50 anak mendapat beasiswa penuh. Pada tahun 2013-2014, YHM menargetkan untuk memberi beasiswa penuh kepada 100 anak dan 750 sampai 1.000 beasiswa sebagian. Beasiswa yang diberikan mencakup kebutuhan bulanan, kebutuhan seragam, buku dan biaya ujian.
Dengan berbagai program tersebut, YHM menunjukkan bahwa anak-anak yang tinggal di kawasan kumuh juga punya hak untuk mengenyam pendidikan yang lebih baik. Mereka juga mampu mengembangkan diri sesuai dengan keterampilan yang mereka miliki. Badut-badut Hidung Merah dari perkampungan kumuh Cilincing menunjukkan bahwa harapan akan masa depan yang lebih baik selalu ada.
Alimentación: principal problemática en la niñez pobre y urbana
María Fernanda Carvallo, Mexico City Community Manager
Within the poorest population in Mexico City, children are particularly vulnerable to food insecurity. To mitigate this risk, the organization Comedor Santa Maria provides food support to underprivileged children and their families, providing 100 percent of the recommended daily intake of nutrients. The organization's goal is to foster human capital through good nutritional habits and improving families' dietary practices. Thanks to these interventions, the children have the opportunity to break the cycle of poverty and become productive members of society.
En esta gran ciudad a diario somos testigos del contexto de los niños pobres de los asentamientos informales, los cuales viven cerca de las ventajas que ofrece la urbanización sin poder tener acceso a ellas. Hablamos de niños obesos así como desnutridos que son resultado de una condición de pobreza alimentaria, al tener una disponibilidad limitada o incierta en el consumo de alimentos nutritivos, adecuados e inocuos. De acuerdo a UNICEF, estos niños tienen más probabilidades de morir antes de cumplir los cinco años por desnutrición. De igual manera SEDESOL afirma que los grupos más vulnerables a la desnutrición son los niños lactantes, preescolares y escolares debido a los requerimientos nutricionales para su crecimiento.
Por su parte el Comedor Santa María (CSM) explica que hay una relación entre los jóvenes inmersos en la delincuencia o violencia y el contacto con la pobreza alimentaria.. De acuerdo a CSM, una organización que brinda apoyo alimentario a niños de escasos recursos, los niños beneficiarios viven un presente en sus hogares lleno de carencias. Por un lado el ingreso familiar semanal oscila entre los $27 USD y $45 USD; lo que conlleva a la falta de seguridad alimentaria, además de un ambiente de estrés y de violencia intrafamiliar que puede ser originada por la misma pobreza en la que viven. De igual manera, la carencia de una vivienda digna y adecuada también provoca el hacinamiento de las familias de estos pequeños poniéndolos en alto riesgo de sufrir algún tipo de abuso sexual; algunos de los niños del CSM menores de 10 años han sido víctimas de algún familiar.
Ante ese contexto, la estrategia de apoyo de CSM va desde el apoyo alimentario, el desarrollo de valores universales en los niños y la adopción de hábitos con el fin de impactar directamente en el niño y en su contexto familiar de manera subsecuente. Actualmente cuenta con 8 comedores en el Distrito Federal y 6 en el Estado de México, cada uno ubicado en colonias de marginación y en pobreza. El eje central del comedor es la Educación en Nutrición, puesto que al proveer una adecuada nutrición al niño se desarrolla de manera óptima los sentidos, lo que contribuye a un mejor rendimiento y aprovechamiento académico y de adquisiciones de habilidades para la vida.
Para que las familias se inscriban al comedor, deben desarrollar corresponsabilidad para recibir los beneficios del CSM, por lo que adquieren obligaciones y responsabilidades que ayudan a que el niño tenga un desarrollo integral. Por un lado, se les pide a las familias la recuperación de $7 pesos e implementar un programa de valores universales alrededor de cuatro temas: salud física, salud psíquica, salud familiar y salud emocional; por lo que las familias deben asistir a la plática de valores y realizar las tareas de dicho programa en casa. Así mismo, en caso de que los niños asistan a la escuela es necesario que los papás cumplan con el calendario escolar y entreguen el control de calificaciones en el CSM.
El resultado de la labor del CSM en los niños ha sido el proveer una alimentación balanceada, ya que cuando los niños asisten al comedor cumplen con el 100% de la Ingesta Diaria Recomendada (IDR), mientras que un muestreo de los niños en espera para ser beneficiario de esta organización solamente cumple con el 28 por ciento de lDR, siendo la mayoría de los alimentos altos en calorías sin ser nutritivos. Así mismo, CSM ha notado el aumento del respeto y la comunicación en el entorno familiar de los niños por lo que en algunos casos se ha disminuido la violencia intrafamiliar en la que vivían los pequeños. Las condiciones de pobreza urbana en estos pequeños son muy complejas, sin embargo una piedra angular es la alimentación que repercutirá en su contexto y en su futuro.
Además de preocuparse por los niños en condiciones de pobreza, CSM es parte de Fondos a la Vista, una red de organizaciones de la sociedad civil que fomentan la rendición de cuentas de las organizaciones a fin de promover buenas prácticas para la continuidad de recursos disponibles para el desarrollo social en México.
Conversations with Rocinha children
Catalina Gomez, Rio de Janeiro Community Manager
About 20 percent of Rio de Janeiro's residents are children ages 0 to 14. Many of them attend one of the city's 982 elementary schools; they might check out books in one of the city's 78 libraries; and they might play in one of the city's 54 parks. But unfortunately, not all children have the same access to basic education, local libraries, or neighborhood parks. As an example, let's take Rocinha, a low-income neighborhood in Rio's southern area, with over 70,000 residents. This neighborhood is significantly under-served with regard to educational and recreational services for its 12,000 children ages 4 to 14: it has only three elementary schools, one library, and no adequate parks. In addition, it has the lowest coverage of pre-school services in the city, with only 4.7 percent of children ages 4-5 attending public pre-school, compared to the city's average of 34 percent (Rio Como Vamos, with data from 2011).
In order to better understand the lives of children in low-income neighborhoods, URB.im decided to talk to them directly. We partnered with Developing Minds Foundation so that we could talk to the children it works with in Rocinha. The organization provides pre-school education and teaches children technology skills in various low-income areas in Rio. Natalie Shoup from the Foundation lead several conversations with children and enabled us to learn a bit about what these children liked, disliked and feared in their lives.
One of our first impressions is that most of the children we talked to like their neighborhood. Mariana, who is 13, explained: "Although I know there are better places, I like my own community." Pedro, who is 11, added: "I like living in Rocinha, as I was born and raised here; at the end of the day you get used to living here."
Younger children also had their opinions about their lives and what they enjoy. Miguel, who is four years old, told us: "I just like to play and go around with my bike." Erik, also 4, told us: "I like to go out, play, and then go to my pre-school to eat good food." For many children, school is not only to play and learn, but is also the only time they get a good and nutritious meal.
Many of these children face enormous difficulties in trying to gain access to basic social services, such as health care and education. Ana Luisa, who is six years old, told us her mother was not able to find her a spot at the local elementary school, meaning that she couldn't enroll to start her primary education this year. "My mom has tried to find a space for me at the local school, but there are no vacancies; she's going to keep looking, so if you hear of a vacancy in any school, please let us know... otherwise I might stay at the children's day care forever."
Regarding the fears of the children we talked to, we learned that most of them have the same fears as any other child, no matter what neighborhood they live in. When asked what they were afraid of, Brenda, who is six years old, said: "I'm afraid to go to swim in the ocean, because I might bump into a shark." Ana Clara, who is five, said: "My fear is playing down in the street; my mom doesn't allow me to play alone there, as some men might take me away."
These are just a few testimonies of children living in Rocinha. On one hand, they share a great deal with children who do not live in the same disadvantaged conditions, like their curiosity and spontaneity. On the other hand, they face daily struggles due to the fact that they are not able to gain access to many basic services. There is a great need for more and better child care and educational programs, as well as access to nutritious food and recreational spaces. Only by providing each child with these services will they be able to learn and to have the opportunity to build themselves a brighter future.
Conversas com crianças da Rocinha
Catalina Gomez, Rio de Janeiro Community Manager
Cerca de 20 por cento da população total de Rio de Janeiro é composta por crianças de 0-14 anos. Muitas destas crianças podem-se beneficiar de alguma das 982 escolas de ensino fundamental da cidade; de uma das 78 bibliotecas do município e também podem jogar em algum de seus 54 parques. Infelizmente, nem todas as crianças tem igual aceso à educação, às bibliotecas locais e parques. Para ilustrar a situação, coloquemos o exemplo da Rocinha, uma comunidade na zona sul do Rio que onde moram mais de 70 mil pessoas. O bairro está bem atrasado no referente a serviços de educação e lazer para mais de 12 mil crianças na faixa de 4 a 14 anos. O bairro tem só 3 escolas de ensino fundamental, uma biblioteca e nenhum parque. Rocinha tem a cobertura de educação pré-escolar de crianças entre 4 e 5 mais baixa de Rio (4,7 por cento); embora a cidade tenha uma cobertura media de 34 por cento (Rio Como Vamos, com dados de 2011).
Para compreender melhor como são as vidas das crianças dos bairros de baixa renda, URB.IM decidiu perguntar diretamente para eles. Neste esforço fizemos uma parceria como a organização Developing Minds Foundation para falar com crianças que são beneficiarias de sua iniciativa na Rocinha. Esta organização vem liderando um trabalho muito bacana na educação pré-escolar e no desenvolvimento de conhecimento em tecnologia em varias áreas carentes da cidade. Natalie Shoup daquela fundação liderou algumas conversas com crianças que permitiram aprender como é a vida deles.
Uma das primeiras impressões sobre as crianças que participaram das conversas: elas gostam de seu bairro. Mariana, de 13 anos de idade, relatou "Rocinha é bom para morar mais eu sei, Rio tem lugares melhores"; e Pedro, que tem 11 colocou "Eu acho que morar na Rocinha é uma coisa muito boa porque quem foi nascido e criado aqui um dia acostuma".
As crianças mais novas também colocaram suas opiniões sobre suas vidas. Miguel, de 4 anos falou "gosto só de brincar de bicicleta"; e Erik, também de 4, comentou "eu gosto de sair da casa e brincar, e ir para a creche e comer comida boa". Ele nos lembrou do caso de muitas crianças que a escola ou a creche apresenta a única oportunidade diária de receber uma boa refeição.
Muitas das crianças apresentam grandes dificuldades para receber serviços sociais como saúde e educação. Ana Luisa, de 6 anos, apresentou que sua mãe não tem conseguido uma vaga para ela na escola. "Vou ficar aqui na creche todo dia porque não tem vaga pra mim na escola. Minha mãe tentou mais não conseguiu. Olha, vai procurando se tem alguma escola com vaga, tá? Procura em alguns lugares se tem escola vazia pra mim; porque se não vou ficar aqui pra sempre".
Sobre os medos das crianças de nossas conversas, aprendemos que muitas delas têm os medos "comuns" de outras crianças que não moram em bairros de baixa renda. Quando perguntamos sobre medos específicos, Brenda, de 6 anos falou "tenho medo de nadar no mar porque pode ter tubarão". Ana Clara, de 5 anos falou "não posso brincar embaixo na rua. Minha mãe não deixa porque se não um homem com saco vai me levar".
Estes comentários são só um resumo das conversas com as crianças da Rocinha. Por uma parte, nos observamos que eles compartilham curiosidade e espontaneidade e outras características similares de crianças que não moram em condições de pobreza. Também conseguimos observar que estas crianças apresentam grandes carências no aceso de serviços básicos. Porem, maiores esforços para ampliar a cobertura de educação, nutrição e oportunidades de troca e brincadeira são muito urgentes nas comunidades mais carentes da cidade.