Public services in Brazil are not great – in fact, they are far from great. It is no different when it comes to child foster support, especially if you are talking about children with special needs. This kind of service is usually provided by non-governmental organisations, as the public health system is just not ready for it.
Lar Rejane Marques is one of these organisations that takes in children that were victims of negligence, violence or were abandoned by their parents, but with one big differential: Lar takes in children with severe mental or physical disabilities.
Their goal is to temporally foster children from zero to ten years old, in situation of abandon and high social risk, providing them with protection and medical care and promoting reintegration with their families and communities. In extreme cases, where the reintegration with the family is not successful, they also provide support for adoption.
While the children are with Lar, they also receive education and psychological support, with recreational and educational activities. All to help them grow and develop into complete and fulfilled adults. On the other hand, Lar works with parents and communities, to help them understand what it means to have a child with a mental or physical disability and how they can work together to give these children the best shot they can have at life. This work is what ensures that the children will be welcomed back with love, respect and care.
However, Lar is not only a loving and caring foster home. Many of the children they take in have severe disabilities and require specialized medical care. So Lar is about survival. And giving these children a chance to fight and to live. And not too many organisations have this kind of infrastructure or will to shelter children with disabilities. And that’s what makes Lar Rejane Marques’s work so special and necessary.
Today, as one of Lar’s main sponsors is no longer able to contribute to support their costs, Lar struggles to find the financial support they need to keep going. With all the infrastructure and specialized staff, it has been harder and harder to raise all the funds. Now Lar is looking to showcase their work and attract more corporate partners, that will embrace the cause and increase the organisation’s sustainability.