We Hear the Cry!



The children of Fortaleza and Sao Paulo, Brazil live in cities that are well-known for human trafficking and the physical safety of these young ones is constantly threatened when they are on the streets. Adding to the problem is the fact that children in Brazil attend school for only half a day and then many of them are left unsupervised for hours after word until their parents return from work. A local non-profit organization named Instituto Navidade de Vida (INDV) stepped in to help with the problem and daily gathers together the most "at risk" of these children for an after-school program called Arca das Criancas (Children's Ark). The Ark is a safe haven for the little ones and provides organized play time, discipleship, academic tutoring, counseling, and enrichment activities such as theater, dance, music, storytelling,

and sports.


Because the ARCAs are located in high-crime areas, the children sometimes move around and are relocated. This is heartbreaking for the ARCA team and for you, the sponsor, BUT never underestimate the impact of the time they were in the program. If your child relocates, you will be contacted and given the opportunity to choose another child to love from afar!


FB1 | Eliardo Oliveira dos Santos

Ten year old Eliardo has attended the Arca afterschool program since he was nine years old, but he is still subject to risks since he has spent much time on the streets of Fortaleza.  The youngster lives with his mother, a sister, and a brother.  He also has an older, teenage sister who is estranged from the family.  Eliardo has no contact with his father and his relationship with his mother is strained.  She would often leave the child and his siblings alone or with strangers while she partied or went out with men.  The Institute has played an important role in Eliardo’s development and, despite his unstable upbringing, we are starting to see some positive behavioral changes in the child.


FB3 | Raelle Maria Alves Mendonca

Raelle is nine years old and lives with her parents and one sister.  Her father is the only one in the family with a steady income.  Raelle’s mother does any kind of work that she can find to also earn money for the family.  The children are left alone much of the time and the parents are not able to give them much attention.  The marriage is very unstable because of financial needs, but Raelle’s parents look forward to giving the children more support by keeping them in school and attending the Arca das Criancas program.



FB4 | Talisson Nogueira da Cunha

Talisson has a problem with his weight and experiences bullying at the hands of his peers.  For this reason, Talisson is very introverted and he will not play with other children, finding it hard to relate to them.  He does, however, enjoy the tutoring and craft classes at the Arca.  The boy is twelve years old and lives with his parents, who sell barbeque in the neighborhood square.  He has a twin sister who is a special needs child with Downs Syndrome.


FB5 | Flavianna Martins

This quiet little girl has been part of the Arca program since she was eight years old.  She is now ten.  Flaviana’s household is made up of her mother, stepfather, one sister, and two stepbrothers.  Their home is very small for all of these people – only two rooms.  Flaviana’s mother does not work and neither does her stepfather, as he has health issues.  The Arca program has been an important factor in Flaviana’s development while the family struggles through the financial and relationship problems that seem to constantly plague them.


FB6 | Francisco Guilherme da Silva

Francisco’s father drinks and uses drugs, causing frequent fights between the boy’s mother and father.  The household is in turmoil, as Francisco’s father often threatens his mother, hits her, and throws things at members of the family.  The Institute has been helping the family since 2011 and nine year old Francisco enjoys the Arca activities where his mother can be present to share his time in a safe environment.



FB7 | Geyson Fernandes de Oliveira

Eight year old Geyson attends Arca each school day, opening up the possibility that his life can change for good.  He loves the Saturday sports classes!  Geyson lives with his large family that includes his mother, father, six sisters, grandparents, an aunt and uncle, and two cousins.  In this family, no one works.  They all live on the grandparents retirement check and Geyson’s father is a drug user.


FB8 | Natanael Vieira Cancerelhi

Despite his quick smile, Natanael lives with the hard reality that his father has abandoned the family and he has no contact with them.  Natanael’s mother, sister and brother, aunt and cousin all reside with his grandparents.  The nine year old is very intelligent and a committed student who enjoys the daily activities at INDV.


SB1 | Ester da Silva Rodilho de Miranda

When Ester first came to the Institute at age three, her mother had just been abandoned by her partner and Ester, her brother, and her mother were living in a small, dirty shack.  The mother felt depressed and powerless to care for her children and so she spent her days ingesting alcohol.  Today Ester’s mother is currently working as a hairdresser, but does not have much time for her children.  Still, Ester is a happy child and she faithfully participates in many activities at the Arca, including theater and studying English.



SB4 | Rafael Talles Ramos de Lima

The birth of twins Rafael and Gabriel (SP5) was not greeted with joy, as it coincided with the arrest of their father.  Although the father has been rehabilitated and now works as a painter, the family faces many difficulties in relationships.  The mother and father have frequent fights and it affects the behavior of the children, who also fight with each other.  At the INDV, the family is learning about behaviors and how to interact with each other, which is very helpful to this family unit.  Besides the twins, there are two more brothers in the family.  Rafael’s mother also helps contribute to the household income by selling chocolate truffas, which she learned to make at one of the courses at the Institute.


SB5 | Gabriel Eduardo Ramos de Lima

Eight year old Gabriel is a twin to Rafael (SP4).  Family life for the boys and their two brothers is rather chaotic.  Relationship building is not a great strength of this household and they experience many fights amongst themselves.  The institute is working very diligently with the family to teach them to interact together peaceably to resolve issues.

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SB6 | Alex Sandro Jose da Silva

Nine year old Alex Sandro’s family is very large – father, mother, and twelve children. Their home is just two rooms, the kitchen and a bedroom.  They all sleep in the same bedroom with mattresses spread on the floor to sleep.  Although Alex Sandro’s father works to support the family by collecting recycled materials, they are still extremely poor and their living conditions are desperate.

SB7 | Rayane Maria da Silva

Little Rayane is six years old and has a quiet, shy nature. The Arca is a very important element of Rayane’s life, as it is a place where she and her family can avail themselves of many activities that they would otherwise only dream of participating in.  Rayane is one of twelve siblings (her brother Alex Sandro is SP6) and all of her older brothers and sisters have participated in the enrichment activities that the Arca provides.  Two of Rayane’s older sisters are learning to knit and crochet to help supplement the family’s meager income.

SB9 | Erica Ramos de Franca 

Erica’s family moved to Sao Paulo when she was three years old and they have been participating in activities at the Ark since that time. Erica is now an outgoing thirteen year old who studies theater and English. Her family of five lives in a small two room house. The mother is unemployed and the father does not have a permanent job. Erica accepted Jesus into her heart at an Arca children’s camp when she was just five years old. She prayed for the conversion of her alcoholic father who did not know Jesus. In 2011, her father prayed for salvation and today the whole family knows the Lord and the father is free from addiction.


SB10 | Ryan Augusto dos Reis Franca

When Ryan’s family moved to Sao Paulo in 2002, his father worked in construction but had a serious accident and lost the ability to do heavy work.  Uneducated and without a profession, it was difficult to sustain his family.  The INDV took the family under its wing.  Ryan’s mother was taught to knit and crochet and she now produces beautiful items that she sells to help the family income.  All seven children in the family participate in Arca activities and nine year old Ryan is enjoying learning to play broom hockey.

SB11 | Iris dos Reis Franca

If not for Arca das Criancas, twelve year old Iris and her six siblings would find themselves on the street much of the day.  Iris has been learning English through the program and her confidence in her abilities has much increased.  Her parents, too, testify to the positive impact that INDV has had on their lives, teaching the children the value of having rules, organization, and how to coexist, as well as reinforcing love within a family to help each other through difficult situations.

SB12 | Erick de Asis Nunes Santos

Erick has been developing very well since coming to the Children’s Ark and he attends faithfully.  He participates in sports and is very fond of many of the Ark activities, including drumming.  Erick loves to praise Jesus and he would like to be a drummer on a worship team.  Seven year old Erick is a big brother with one younger brother and another expected in December.



SB13 | Joao Victor da Silva Barbosa

Joao Victor loves the theater program at Arca and he says that he would like to be an actor when he grows up!  He is now twelve years old.  His mother is unemployed, but she attends classes at INDV to become skilled at knitting and crocheting.  She sells the items that she has crafted to help supplement the family’s income.  The father works odd jobs in construction.

SB14 | Luis Felipe da Silva Barbosa

Ten year old Luis is a brother to SP13 Joao Victor.  The boys also have one younger brother.

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Heart Cry International

PO Box 207

Mt. Pleasant, MI 48804-0207


Office Hours:  Mon-Fri || 10am-4pm