Over the weekend we drove to Japantown (Like Chinatown) located in the downtown area. As we were driving there my husband was pointing out buildings and telling me about them. “There is the law school he said.” I looked at the building and huddled up on the front steps was a homeless family. I was almost brought to tears when I saw a two year old boy sleeping on the ground.
São Paulo has a lot of homeless but this is not as bad as other countries I’ve been to. In Mexico and Jamaica children by the dozens would swarm you looking for handouts or try to sell you something. It is not at all like that here but according to my husband it used to be but things are getting better.
And it’s not like we don’t have homeless children in America, 1 in 50 kids are homeless in American which amounts to roughly 1.5 million. That number seems appalling to me since we are far more developed that Brazil. Plus we don’t see them on the street; we hide them in shelters so we don’t have to face the reality of them on a daily basis.
Since my encounter with this little boy I have been thinking while I am in São Paulo I might try to volunteer somewhere. I know it will take a lot of time and social change for things to truly change in Brazil but in the meantime like with my patients, maybe I can make a difference in the life of an individual.