Patty: “The children learn so much…”
In the beginning of May I was able to join the trip with power2fly to experience ASAS throughout one week in Florianopolis.Let me start with saying that it has made quite an impact on me and that I feel privileged to be a fellow traveller in this experience
Throughout years, Liduine and various other, have given their heart and soul to help the children in the slums of Florianopolis. Thanks to their efforts, these children have the opportunity to develop themselves.
It was an intense week and we were able to see a how a week looks like in the life of the children and ASAS. The passion, dedication, involvement, drive, love, security, structure and professionality made a huge impression on me.
Lessons for life
The children learn so much at ASAS and those are important lessons for life. They learn how to work in teams, how to make decisions, they learn how to have respect for each other and to care for each other.
The love that these children receive is enormous and every child should have that right. Every child should be seen and that is what happens at ASAS, every child has the right to have a voice and raise their voice, and that is possible at ASAS.
I admire deeply all the people that commit themselves to ASAS and once again thankyou to having been able to be a part of all of your lives throughout a week.
Marijn: “The help for these children is really needed!”
In May, Bert and I flew back to our beloved Brazil: we have been there before, even better: we have even lived there for four years. In 2001 we met Robert, Liduine, Gijs and Annet and quickly after it followed amazing actions for different goals and we found in each other true fellow fighters.
Now, years later, it felt like coming home. We made a pit stop in Sao Paulo throughout three days. After that, we flew to Florianopolis, where we arrived on Saturday. Both of us did not know Florianopolis… now we do and it is absolutely worth it!
A lot of information being shared
Upon arrival it did not take long before the “assado” at Robert and Liduine’s place was turned on, and the caipirinhas were being served. That afternoon we also met Patty and Christine, who both also flew to Florianopolis for the same goal, meeting ASAS and experiencing what the mission of the foundation is. Liduine and Annet caught us up with all the latest news and shared a lot of new information about ASAS.
Looking away is not possible
At night the whole board of ASAS came over and we were able to hear first-hand , how they lead the foundation, what the success stories are, but also what the problems are that they face. Brazil will always be the country of sun, carnival and music, no doubt about that, but it is not possible to look away from the poverty which you see everywhere and which is permanently present. Well, you don’t have to carry water to the sea, but taking the responsibility to help each other is definitely the core. This is what ASAS does and this is what we were able to see with our own eyes and able to jointly experience.
Liduine and Robert had prepared an amazing program, with a lot of visits to ASAS, but also the much needed “recovery moments”. As soon as you enter the ASAS location, you hear happy children voices and see children who are playing. Crazily they run after the hockey ball, here in the Netherlands it is not any different! Children are from nature curious and not scared to make contact. Thankfully the language was not strange to us and very quickly the children were taking us all around. We had to see everything and mainly participate with everything. During our visit we played hockey and in a classroom there was drumming classes, amazing to see.
On the location of ASAS there is a huge sea container, containing a wall in the middle, which you can see once you step inside. Left of the wall there is a little classroom where the children can receive tutor classes or are individually guided by a psychotherapist. Right of the wall there is the kitchen where the simple healthy snacks are prepared daily. Not every child has had breakfast at home! However, you could see that the children were happy, felt safe and their supervisors with tireless effort and all of their heart guided the children.
On Tuesday we paid a visit to the local favela, the slum, where most of the children from ASAS live. It was raining, it was dreary and the atmosphere was depressing. In contrast to all those happy children that we had seen at the ASAS location, we experienced a very different atmosphere here, you could actually call it another world, and it became even more clear why the help from ASAS is so extremely important. The children get the opportunity and a chance to develop themselves, but also to be a child. The life in a favela is not easy, and it is almost impossible to be a child.
Continuing and coming alongI
repeat once again, bringing water to the sea is not needed, but we have to continue in supporting ASAS, every little bit helps and how great is it to see happy children. In three days we experienced so incredibly much and shared so much together in our “recovery moments”, which were very much needed because it was impossible not to shed a tear sometimes. amazing hostess: don’t doubt it, it enriches your life in a very special way. You cannot gain this experience out of books or watch it on TV. There is an old French saying, “ noblesse oblige”, literally translated as “nobility required”. In the current world you would be able to say: someone who is privileged because of their origin, money or talent has the duty to do something good with it and act up. Nowadays this actually counts for all of us, because after this experience in Florianopolis I dare to say out loud that all of us in the Netherlands are privileged.
Liduine, Robert and Annet, thank you for the entire organisation! Patty and Cris, superb to be able to have experienced this with you two!
Christine: “They are amazing, so devoted!”
When I think of Brazil, then I think of lovely music, beautiful people and a fascinating country. However, I do also know that the country has a downside. For example, the children only frequent schools during half of they days. What do they do the other half of the day? Wander around the streets? Do they therefore get in touch with the wrong things? To be able to do something about this, Liduine founded ASAS 12 years ago, together with someone else, especially for these children.
Joining the trip
This year Liduine thought of an opportunity to let people have a better, concreter look into ASAS. What do we do there exactly, how does it look, what is being offered to the children and what is their origin?I have known about the existence of ASAS already for quite some time and overall I know a little bit about it, because of the newsletters and the children from HDM YA (volunteer organisation for the adolescents from the HDM hockey club), who have been there for five years straight. However, to be able to see the reality, that chance I would not let me pass by. Thus, I applied to join the trip.We visited ASAS almost every day, joined the classes, such as music, capoeira and hockey classes (I even taught one class myself), we saw the location where the children receive social support, the beautiful (self-sustaining) garden and the kitchen where healthy snacks are being prepared. We also visited a community, where the children that go to ASAS come from.
Furthermore, we met all the people that work here, they are so amazing, and so extremely devoted. Every day I have shed some tears, it was so fascinating to see everything. Why? These people give their soul and everything in order to try to help these children, by means of giving a lot of attention to them, them letting be children and teach them. As a result of the successful, professional board (who are all volunteers!!!) they are able to get a lot done. Considering that ASAS does not have a fixed location, Power2Fly has been busy trying to buy a piece of land, where ASAS can permanently be located.
In Brazil nothing goes very quick, everything need to be passed through a lot of different systems and you are continuously being sent to another person. Due to this, Power2Fly has been increasing the pressure, and said that an Dutch Delegation was coming to take a look. Next to this, Liduine said it would be useful to invite the media. This resulted in an interview with Liduine, which was transmitted on the television. This created quite an impression. There is good hope that the location will soon be cleaned and that the documents and permits will be in order, and that there will finally be an own ASAS location!In a couple of words: extremely impressive.A beautiful project, I feel honoured to have been able to see it.