The Novo Hamburgo technical coordinator, Ivelise Menezes, explains that Chain of Love currently has four off-campus homes for residential care to house children and teenagers from Novo Hamburgo who are under protective measures issued by the Youth and Childhood Court. Two of the homes (Off-Campus Home 1, opened in 2016, and Off-Campus Home 3, opened in 2018) are located in the Canudos neighborhood, one (Off-Campus Home 2, opened in 2017) is located in Jardim Mauá neighborhood and another (Off-Campus Home 4, opened in 2019) is located in the Vila Nova neighborhood. Ivelise adds that each home takes in up to 10 children and teenagers, both boys and girls, from birth to eighteen years old.
According to the other technical coordinator of the off-campus homes, Otávio Alves, the opening of this new space shows the expansion of the work that has been done and begins a new stage for Chain of Love and the whole technical staff. “The creation of this space shows that we are doing our job with efficiency. This outcome has to do with the union of the extremely qualified technical staff, who are devoted to a common good.”
Aiming to serve with excellence the children and teenagers of Chain of Love who live in the off-campus homes in Novo Hamburgo, the space also promotes connections with the children’s biological families and/or extended families, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, and the resident caregivers/housemothers. It includes offices for the coordinators, social workers, and psychologists, in addition to a reception room and a meeting room.
According to Chain of Love Executive Director Telmo Camargo, the objective of creating this new space is to provide an increased quality of life to those in care. It’s a big step taken by the community, which is increasingly concerned about social causes. “We want every child to be able to take back home something beyond what they brought here when they first came. After they leave the COL homes, they have a different smile in their eyes: a smile of gratitude and happiness. This is the difference we make through deep love, affection, and comfort”.
To Marilene Alves Lemes, who works at the Novo Hamburgo Social Surveillance Agency (a governmental agency) and was invited to the opening event, the technical center is fundamental to strengthen the structure of serving the Novo Hamburgo children and teenagers. “I am so happy with the partners who prepared such an important achievement in order to provide the children and teenagers with a better quality of life. I know the work of the organization, and the purchase of this building (to be used as a COL facility) shows their interest and how serious their work is.”