From April 20th to the 24th, the Portraits of Hope project received the first caravan of 2023 in the city of Jacobina, Bahia. The caravanners worked in the community of Alto Alegre.
Riquelme is an 11-year-old boy from Bahia. He has a rare disease called Osteogenesis Imperfecta (a hereditary condition that impairs the correct formation of bones and makes them fragile). He lived 100 km from the nearest urban center, Maracás. Riquelme shared his story through social networks and it was there that the Portraits of Hope Project learned about his trajectory and decided to embrace him to improve the boy's quality of life.
Now that you know Riquelme, we want to tell you that in addition to him, the family was also welcomed by the Portraits of Hope. The project rented a house in Jacobina so that he, his parents, and his sister could have a life with dignity. The project also furnished the house with the help of donations and all the sponsors. It also joined a musical instrument store in the Jacobina region and donated a drum set to Riquelme, as it was one of his big dreams.
In Jacobina, in the Alto Alegre community, those assisted have art and education classes four times a week. About 40 people are participating in the activities, including young people, teenagers, and adults. Guitar lessons also resumed for all those assisted.
The Portraits of Hope is investing in the education of those assisted. In Canudos, 30 children between the ages of four and 14 years old receive daily tutoring. In Petrópolis, the brother and sister, Alexandre and Ana Carolina, are receiving tutoring. Their family received a new house in 2018, donated by the project.
The first contact is always impactful; having contact with people's needs, perceiving the transforming energy of the project leaders, and the hope and confidence of the families in better days was what most caught my attention. Essential needs such as lack of water, food shortage, and the lack of hydro power in some houses affected me and my travel companions (Ranieri and Priscila). So we started a small movement to bring a refrigerator and solar energy system to some families from Rio do Vigário. With the support of extraordinary friends, the second trip to Canudos took place. The Portraits of Hope project is very dear to me; I have a lot of affection for everyone in the village and much respect for the project leaders. Bismarck has a critical task there, and, as sponsors and volunteers, we must always make ourselves available to support the FSF in whatever way we can."
Dante Furlan - Sponsor and FWB volunteer.