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Batty In Brazil

Welcome To Brazil

Posted on 20th January 2013

Welcome to Medina – a beautiful little town situated in the southeastern region of Brazil. It’s a rural area surrounded by lots of  brightly painted houses, mountains and greenery and will be the place I’ll be calling home for the next 18 months.

The Pink House is where I will be calling work, situated in the heart of Medina. It is part of Meninadança’s latest project in their mission to rescue young girls at social risk. We are just about ready to open the doors to 50 of the most vulnerable girls in this town who we’ll be working with 5 days a week and engaging through dance, arts and crafts, hair and beauty and other workshops.

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The aim is to take the girls on a journey of restoration and healing, instilling a new sense of hope within them whilst developing and improving their self esteem and raising their aspirations.

The hope is that by doing this they will come to the realisation that they don’t have to fall victim to or continue a life of exploitation, violence, struggle and deprivation.

I’m really excited about becoming the new dance teacher and I can’t wait to get to know these girls and assist them in changing their lives.

The Grand Tour

This is the entrance of the house (which will be used as the main space for arts and crafts and other workshops that will be going on) and the reception area which I imagine the girls will use as a space to relax and socialise.

Next we have the office – where you can see Sam hard at work. Throughout the centre there are various messages written on the walls, this one translates to “you are loved, you are special and you are worthy of your dreams”. These words are so far removed from the mindset within many of the girls, but I trust that in time attending the Pink House will help them to start believing these words apply to their lives.

This is one of my favorite rooms in the house…..

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The boxes you see are going to be personalised by the girls so each one represents a little bit of who they are. These boxes will be a place for them to store things they make in the centre and things which are special to them. This excites me a lot as for some of these girls this will be the first time they’ve had something of their own they can personalise and call their own.

I think these boxes are going to play a big part in the girls feeling that they have a sense of ownership over the centre. The words on the wall translate as “A winner is a loser who never gave up”.

This is the Kitchen and the cook Cassilandia who is an absolute delight; she has such a warming sense about her and a very big heart.

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She is also a real dab hand in the kitchen so be warned, I may just come back to England a lil rounder than when I left! No matter how much you eat, people here always say…. “come mais!” Which means “eat more”; so you always feel obliged to eat until you are literally bursting at the seams.

This is the Hair and beauty salon where the girls are going to learn new skills and begin to understand and learn the importance of how to look after themselves.

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I believe this is also going to be a space in which the girls will begin to explore the meaning of inner beauty and discover what that means to them. I can’t wait to see the transformation in the girls’ self esteem and self image that will take place through the activities in this room.

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This is a social space where the girls are hopefully going to build some good and positive relationships with one another in a safe environment.

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The words on the wall Jeremiah 29:11 – “I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and give you a bright hope and future”.  I’m sure that, like all the words painted around the house, this verse will take time for the girls start to believe this. Please pray that God brings all the words across the house alive in the girls’ hearts and moves them towards a place of belief that brings positive ambitions to fruition.

This is a space which will be more of a multi-purpose room. Mostly it will be used for English and Music lessons, but it may also be used as a quiet space where the girls can just relax and have some time to themselves.

Last but not least, we have my lovely pink studio wooooo hooooooo! The place where I will be spending the majority of my time teaching the girls different styles of dance and movement.

The words on the wall translate as
“Don’t be the girl who fell down; be the girl who got back up”.

No doubt there will be lots of falls and challenges on this journey not just for the girls to overcome but for me as well, this doesn’t scare me but excites me.

A few bumps in the road make for a more fun journey and really allow you to appreciate how far you’ve come in reaching your goals.

As you can see it’s all very PINK and has beautiful paintings all over the building. The butterfly seems to have become a bit of a theme running throughout the house with the vision that the girls are coming into the house like little caterpillars that through their time in the Pink House will eventually flourish, blossom and grow into beautiful butterflies.

Everyone involved in making The Pink House happen so far has done an amazing job! It’s really exciting to think a week today – the 28th of Jan – this House is going to open its doors to some amazing and beautiful young girls who are caught in a life of struggle and difficulty on so many different levels.

At this point a lot of these girls don’t realise the potential they have and the hope is that by coming to the centre we can help them to realise there are endless possibilities to what they can achieve. I feel very lucky to be a part of this project which is going to be a place of discovery, healing, restoration and hope for all that step through the doors.

Thank You for checking out my blog I’ll keep you up dated with more stories and adventures real soon. Until next time check out the Donate and Contact pages to see how you can support or get more information on the project.

12 Responses to “Welcome To Brazil”

  1. Lauren reading through your blog brang tears to my eyes what an amazing and insperational person you are it’s amazing what you are doing for those girls and I am so ver proud to call you my friend. I have really seen you change your life around for the better in the past few years and finally you have found what makes you happy and what you believe in which is helping Rhodes most in need. Have the most amazing time I will be following your blogs the whole time luv u lots x x x x x god bless ya baby girl x c em x x

  2. Wonderful to see the sights, houses, people and inspirational words in Portuguese. Really reminds me of the 12 months we spent in Brazil and the many visits since. I love Brazil and the Brazilian people. You will have a ball Lauren, enjoy it and just see how much influence you can be to the girls and how much Brazil puts into you:) God bless you and keep you
    Love Mick & Brenda

  3. What a lovely blog, the centre looks great, very girly. All the best on the opening of it. You have such a big heart and should be so proud of what you are doing Lauren. I’m sure your big personality will lift the girls moods and really inspire them. All the best cuz. Katie xx

  4. Well done Lauren, I’m really enjoying reading your blog. Hopefully, by this time next year, I’ll be on the road again making a difference in a developing country. I’ll keep you in prayers,xx

  5. Good on you for being apart of this work and these precious girl’s journey. Thanks for sharing your blog, I’m sure it will raise awareness and support! I look forward to reading more and meeting you in June! Danielle 🙂

  6. Hi Lauren…i am a distant friend of your mums and am so glad i checked your blog out. Having danced in my younger years i am really looking forward 2 keeping up todate with your project. Great work you are doing. Have fun.

    Love Lou x

  7. Well done guys, its amazing to see how much has being done already and im sure it is a lot to do as well, will be great to be there on june!!

  8. This is great, Lauren! Brings back so many memories of Medina – it must have taken ages to put it all together but I loved seeing the photos and the transformation that is continuing in the Pink House before it even opens! Am praying for you guys lots, I know it must be such a hectic time.. and all the best with the portuguese study. I know you will make a real difference to these beautiful girls 🙂 xx (ps i love your website.. makes me think i should get someone to help me with mine!)

  9. What an inspirational young lady my great niece has grown into…always wanting to help others less fortunate. Good luck for the opening of the pink house n hope all goes well n you save these poor girls. Always looking forward to your blogs lv ya from Auntie Sue xxxxxx

  10. Lauren, it’s so great to see what is happening out there in Brazil and what you are a part of. So many young lives are going to be blessed through what you are investing yourself in and it’s a privilege to get to see it all unfold over the coming months on your excellent blog. Believing with you that this project will be a spark to light a whole fire of hope, peace, restoration and knowledge of God’s amazing love in that whole region. Go for it with everything you’ve got!

  11. Love the pink house it looks like an amazing place i’m sure the girls there will love it! Don’t think you’l ever want to come home after travelling all these different places and helping others!x

  12. Miss you already Hun , but lovely to be able to keep in touch through your wonderful blog. You really are going to make a difference out there to those beautiful girls lives. Your a very inspirational young lady and I’m so privileged to know you. Keep up the good work and il look forward to reading your wonderful blogs. Take care chick sending you let’s of love xxx

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