UNICEF estimates that there are over 100 million street kids in the world. Of these, 12 million live and die on the streets of Brazil. In the city of Sao Paulo alone, there are over one million abandoned children mingled among the 22 million residents.
These children hang out in gangs and move about the streets trying to obain the basic necessities of life, food and shelter. Because they have no money, they will steal a banana or a loaf bread just to survive for a day.
In a effort to control crime in the cities of Brazil, shopkeepers and city dwellers called on exterminators to kill the children on a daily basis.
In San Paulo alone, dozens of children are exterminated daily. Usually, they are murdered at night by hired gunmen, so people don't have to watch. Many times, the bodies are just left on the streets, A fee of $19 to $40 dollars is paid for each killing. These hopeless and homeless children make sure they stay out of the way of cameras so they won't be the next one hunted down. If left to fend for themselves, the next generation of street children will be here before we know it.
A hopeless situation? Maybe to some, but God has something else in mind. Through the ministry efforts of the International Street Kids Outreach Ministries, Inc. (ISKOM), many of these youngsters are undergoing rescue, and making decisions to fellow Jesus Christ. Through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, they are learning how to become contributors to society instead of victims. ISKOM strives to meet the needs of impoverished families . ISKOM is a preventive ministry that provides hope to a lost world.
Since 1992, food and clothing have been distributed. minor medical aid has been provided, a camping ministry is now in place where street kids are told more about the "alternative life-style" that Christ offers them. ISKOM has also spearheaded the opening of homes for abandoned babies.
A discipleship apprentice project is soon to begin. This program is designed to prepare abolescent street kids to not only become productive citizens in Brazilian society, but to also become fruitful Christians in the local church, once they have completed the program.
ISKOM will also contines to serve as a host for church groups from the United States wanting to come to San Paulo for the purpose of taking Jesus Christ to the street kids of Brazil.