Having been to three notorious slum areas in less than three months, and considering that some of them are meant to be celebrating Easter today, what have we learnt? The slums in Karachi, Pakistan; shanties in Nakuru, Kenya; and favelas in
Sau Paolo and Campinas, Brazil, tell a similar story of complete abandonment.
There were bright exceptions that battled against the tide – the Hussaini Foundation NGO and Five Star school in Karachi; the FANET NGO and Mwariki School in Nakuru; the TETO NGO in Sao Paulo and the child mental health service in Campinas. But nowhere did I witness presence or interest from governments, international organizations or the global community.
Staring at the doors of the Campinas colonial museum, behind which slaves who tried to escape were tortured, I wondered how far we’ve gone. In those terms, a long way. But in these parts of the planet, on Easter day, documents such as the UN Convention of Children’s Rights are meaningless pieces of paper – look away now…