Alexandra, 13-years old, participated in the gang who put fire to a bus full of people in Rio de Janeiro recently, commanded by the drug's traffic. Five people died, including a one-year old baby.
As another 750 thousand Brazilian children, Alexandra isn't registered, doesn't have a birth certificate or any other document, and will never have access to any social program in the country because she and all the others don't exist, officially.
Her mother died at 42, with tuberculosis, and she had never met her father. The social welfare never looked for her all this time; she had never gone to school and is therefore analphabetic. She started asking for food on the streets at 7-years old, and was adopted by the drug gangs to be used for small services.
So she changed the alms for the drug trafficker's life.
Her story truly proves how the structures that we live are failing. The family failed, society failed, the church, the community and the State failed. It's a sad repeated story from hundreds of lost children living alone in the brazilian streets. The only alternatives those children have are: choosing the drug gangs, the prostitution, or be lucky as Poca (on the picture above) and find alternatives programs.
Poca, 23-years old now, met this program called CARF (Children At Risk Foundation) in 1993. I met then just a year ago and I got involved.