I’m a little lost for words today......., but somehow I need to let off some steam.
My expectations for this year were many and optimistic......, they also included Roney and Claudiney, two of the street kids I have followed up closely during these last few years and who at the beginning of this month had been sent to a drug recuperation centre by court order from the local children’s judge.
I’m still trying to figure out why................???
After speaking to them both over the phone a few days after their involuntary internment, I realized that my trip to the coast to catch a short week of holiday together with some of our neediest kids was not going to be a comfortable one considering that both boys probably needed a lot of extra attention following this rather unexpected decision (my trip was planned to include Roney and Claudiney, but due to the court order of internment they were unable to come along).
Last week on my arrival back home, the local Department of Homicides
called me and asked if we had registered any missing children the last
couple of days. They needed to identify two young boys who had been
found beaten and strangled not far from the small holding where I
lived for the first decade of my work recuperating street children. My
most uncomfortable memories from that decade were all the dead bodies
I had experienced (32 in all) along the dirt track leading up to our
home, which seemed to be a historically popular dumping ground since
the days of the military dictatorship and obviously continued to be so
for whoever felt they had the right to take the law into their own
As I had an extremely busy agenda for the next few days (including a visit to the shelter where Roney and Claudiney were being detained) I suggested to the police that they visit a few strategic places with some photos of the victims to see if someone would recognize them.
Offering little thought at all that the victims could possibly be Roney or Claudiney due to them having been interned, on Sunday I went to pay them the visit I had promised before having left for the coast, only to discover that the boys had already done a runaway. I hadn’t really expected them to stay there for long, which seemed pretty clear from the phone conversation I had with them a week earlier, all the more reason for me to visit them as soon as I arrived back home.
Today, the police called again to tell me they had finally identified the two dead kids, but were now trying to find a third missing child who seemed to have escaped the killer’s cold-blooded actions. Roney unfortunately had not; he and another street kid, Júlio César, were the two victims!
There are many things I find so very hard to accept in my work with underprivileged kids in this country. In the first place, I find it hard to accept that street children exist at all in the 21st.Century, especially in a society that is among the world's top 10 economies. Then I find it hard to digest everything that follows as a consequence of this negligence, this indifference, which sometimes makes me feel so sad and today, so sick! I really can’t find the right words to express my anger and my frustrations..........
I once quoted Albert Einstein under one of Roney’s many special
portraits in my Flickr photo stream. I think I’ll do so again:
“The world is a dangerous place. Not because of the people who are evil; but because of the people who don't do anything about it.”
# IMPORTANT NOTE:
On June 27th. we also lost our beloved Claudiney.
I'm still trying to figure this one out.................... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . and I'm gonna miss the both of you.