By Angel Silva*
Mother assisted by Dara Institute
I joined Dara Institute in June 2018. My youngest son, Enzo, 4, presented strong malnutrition and was treated at Lagoa Hospital, where I heard about the work of Dara. During my first meetings with the team, they helped me to outline the actions and goals of my Family Action Plan. This was very important to help me plan my next steps and look at my family as a whole, not just Enzo’s disease.
The Citizenship Department of Dara instructed me about documentation and my rights. Enzo and my other two children, Raquel, 11, and Davi, 7, started to receive educational guidance. With the help of doctors and nutritionists, Enzo gradually recovered. I learned how to cook healthier for him and for the whole family. I took in new habits and a healthy food routine at home.
There was no point in taking care of his health but not of our home. We lived in very poor conditions after a flood hit us in early 2019. As it happened to other families in Santa Cruz, the neighborhood I live, in the western region of the city of Rio de Janeiro, I lost a lot of the furniture and things I had. The Housing Department of Dara helped me renovate my house, both with the blueprint and the cost of it.
I was in charge of hiring the bricklayer and budgeting the necessary material in stores close to my home. Today, I see my home as a real home, a safe haven for my family. When the renovation was done, I enrolled in the cooking course of the Geração de Renda (Income Generation) Program of Dara. I could dream again. I want to open a pastry shop and have already thought of a name for it: Angel Doces.
And I even had a personal dream come true: in October, I represented Dara Institute at Caldeirão do Huck, a
TV show aired on Rede Globo (Brazilian TV channel), where I received donations for other families assisted