Happy Child International: Guardians

At Sysdoc, a major part of our company ethos is giving back to the global community in which we work. Since 2014 we have supported Happy Child International, a charity which helps children living in deprived areas of Belo Horizonte and Recife in Brazil. Our Global CEO, Katherine Corich, is on the Board of the charity and has a favour to ask.

Ahead of the 2014 Football World Cup in Brazil, the founder of Happy Child International, Sarah de Carvalho, pictured, launched the It’s A Penalty campaign with the aim of highlighting child sex exploitation. With the situation becoming far worse on the streets of Brazil and ahead of a major sporting event, de Carvalho recognised that this would be a time where many people would take advantage of vulnerable children.

The It’s A Penalty campaign gained support and endorsement from international footballers, among them Frank Lampard and David Luiz, British Prime Minister David Cameron, and a video was shown on over 10,000 British Airways flights to Rio de Janeiro over the World Cup period. Using the hashtag #ItsAPenalty, the social media campaign reached in excess of 300 million people.

The charity already operates 13 children’s homes in Brazil, for the Rescue, Rehabilitation and Re-integration of young girls, the majority of whom are child mothers who have become pregnant on the street, many having been sexually violated. In some cases, girls as young as twelve have been sold for sex for as little as 80 pence.

The key now is to run the campaign again for the upcoming Olympics in 2016, in Rio de Janeiro and other major sporting events. This would be coupled with lobbying on international levels to secure the protection of children through strengthened legislation and to punish those who perpetrate these despicable crimes.

So, how can you help? Katherine Corich and the Happy Child International charity are aiming to mobilise the It’s A Penalty campaign for a second time through setting up a network of 100 “Guardians”. To become a Guardian, you would be asked to donate £1,000 to the Happy Child Foundation and this will provide the funding to secure grants from the United Nations and other such organisations. Furthermore, as a Guardian, you will be a member of the Founding Club, and will be invited to regular events which provide updates on the progress of the campaign. The first event will be held at the Brazilian Embassy in London in late April.

London’s Metropolitan Police described the previous It’s A Penalty Campaign as the ‘best crime prevention campaign that they have ever seen,’ and with your help, the immense benefits of the first one may be repeated again, with it ever more effective and forceful.

Therefore if you, or anyone you know is willing to join as a Guardian and support this effort, please get in touch. Over the past 20 years, 10,000 children have been saved by Happy Child International, and many more may be saved from the depravity of child sex exploitation with the campaign running again.

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