Jardim Gramacho

Relief operation

Brief report on the trip to Brasil in September 2014

Together with Julia Gama, the current Miss Brazil whom Alexandra had met when working at the garbage dump "Jardim Gramacho", a van with food and 40 water filter systems was financed by FriendCircle WorldHelp and the goods distributed to the most needy families.

"They have really done everything they had promised!", 40- year-old Mara cries into the phone when reporting a friend about the support provided by FriendCircle WorldHelp. Days before Mara had insulted Alexandra and the other helpers when she trudged with her camera through the piles of garbage.

"Disappear!" she was raging, "you come just to take pictures, and then you're gone!". Mara is one of the many mothers at Jardim Gramacho, who presently see no future for themselves and their children. Since the dump, formerly one of the worldwide largest landfills, was closed in 2012, most people here are out of work. "We, the unskilled used to make good money and were able to keep our heads above water, but since the government has shifted the piles of rubbish to another place, we are fighting for our daily survival."

Many children, 16 in the morning and 17 in the afternoon, gather around Mara, playing with empty plastic bags and lying around stones. "I feel sorry for these children, and therefore I care about them," says Mara. "Where are their parents?" Alexandra asks. "They are trying here and there to make some money, in order to get food," she replies. "And you do it voluntarily? How can you provide for the children? ". Mara again starts to cry and says that she can give each child five little biscuits, which she shows Alexandra in the sparsely equipped kitchen. "Lunch is served only on Fridays. But we are lucky: a craftsman who built this house for himself and he allows me to look here after the children free of charge. "

Nobody had expected that Mara the next day would really come from a supermarket with 4 full shopping carts and that all children will get a hot lunch every day during the next 3-4 months. And that all goods of the only small local bakery would be purchased by FriendCircle WorldHelp and that furthermore a van fully loaded with fresh fruit would arrive and distribute the fruit to the kids...


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  • In June 2012 the Jardim Gramacho (in English: Gramacho Garden) one of the world's largest garbage dum was closed down after 34 years. The people living there were working there under worst conditions.
  • Today, these people there live in „Ausnahmezustand“. Some 3.000 to 4.000 persons are not officialy registered. They have many problems: no job, no clean water, not sufficient food.


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