Return to „Casa da Crianca“

Responsibility & dedication, 08.06.2018

The stuff novels are made of. But also a story written from life experience. The “Casa da Crianca” in poverty-stricken north-east Brazil is receiving aid from  „ergo: we help“. Kicking off the project are Dominik Becker and his dad Arnold, a retired ERGO sales partner, thanks to whose contact “ergo: we help” came about.

It was an unknown man from the slum (favela) who left the baby on the front doorsteps of „Casa da Crianca“ – a day care centre in Campina Grande that's run by Franciscan nuns. He begged them to take the child off his hands, as he had previously already taken three foundlings under his wings and could no longer manage to take care of a fourth. That was in July, 1981. 

“I wanted to know where I came from”

The director of the day care centre, Sister Aldete, searched Germany for parents of the infant – and found them in Annette and Arnold Becker from Ochtrup. Dominik came to them as their third adopted child, another boy from Casa Crianca would follow two years later. The cloverleaf grew up safely and peacefully in Ochtrup in the Münsterland region, close to the Dutch border. 

After having finished school, Dominik journeyed back to his place of origin. “I wanted to know where I came from, and I wanted to return the favour. That was the greatest opportunity of my life – I was so fortunate!” Dominik Becker completed a voluntary year of social service at the facility in 2010 – and stayed. But the story didn't end there: He married a Brazilian girl. The couple has since been looking after 200 children under the age of six from the slum areas of the region. The focus: to give the children a future, to nourish them, to improve the facility’s infrastructure and education – to provide them with real prospects in life.

Much to do

To achieve this objective, there is and still remains a great deal of work to do. The “Casa da Crianca” was in a dreadful state in the beginning. With the sponsorship money – and the assistance of “ergo: we help” – we were able to repair the sanitary facilities, resurrect a collapsed wall, build a sunroof, and purchase play equipment and a big washing machine. Ensuring that the basic structural and hygienic prerequisites were met allowed the children to focus on what really mattered: learning.

Current projects include the renovation of the kitchen, restoration of the rooms and replacement of the electrical appliances. Always working according to the motto: one step at a time. In other words: The Dominik effect will also open up new opportunities for the children of the slums in the future.  


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