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거리로 내몰린 브라질 소녀들을 도와요!

2008.12.30

* UNICEF: Working to keep young girls in Brazil off the streets
* 시간: 03 min 50 secs
* 촬영도시: Natal
* 촬영국가: Brazil
* 촬영일자: 20 Nov 2008


To an outsider, the post-card perfect beauty of Natal, Brazil, presents life as carefree, with lazy days of surfing, swimming and walking barefoot on the sand. But as night falls, the back streets fill with young girls selling their bodies.


They stand on street corners and linger in night clubs, exposing themselves to HIV, homelessness, physical and mental abuse, as well as greater chances they'll drop out of school and be left with poor parenting skills later in life, perpetuating a vicious cycle. 17-year-old Luisa, not her real name, started sleeping with men for money and gifts when she was only 12, after a man offered her a free cell phone, which he later used to arrange sexual encounters.


"The men would call me on the mobile phone, just like they call other girls. These men know exactly what the girls want. They'd say, "You need clothes? I'll give you new clothes in exchange for sex.'"


Her mother is overcome with fear that will die young. She began worrying after Luisa would disappear for weeks, and she would hear stories from concerned neighbors who saw Luisa on the streets with strange men.


"I believe that God will protect her from being killed. It's the only thing I ask God, that he save my daughter's life."


She found herself confronting a nightmare shared with thousands of other mothers in Brazil: how to get their daughters off the street and out of the sex trade.


Luckily, she found Casa Renascer, a non-governmental organization and UNICEF partner whose name means


"house of rebirth." Sayonara Dias is a social worker who runs the program.


"We focus on three elements when working with young victims of sexual exploitation and abuse. First, an integrated approach with a team of professionals, including a lawyer and psychologists. Second, we focus on the individual girl and help her create a life plan. And third, we work with various institutions, beginning with the family and the schools."


The girls continue living at home with their families, but have daily activities at the center, including art therapy, which helps them deal with often violent episodes in their past, in a creative, healthy way. But they also look to the future. Year-long vocational classes encourage the girls to re-enter mainstream society, by paying them a salary while they're still students.


This reduces the temptation to return to the streets to earn money. And the two careers offered, hair styling and fashion design, have proved immensely popular with the girls. Luisa offers a frank assessm

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