Things That Matter

A Young Woman Is Trying To Use Technology To Solve Brazil’s Daycare Crisis

If you ask most parents what it’s like to choose childcare, they’ll tell you it’s a real struggle. Wherever you may live, whatever your income is, good parents will want the very best for their child. And if they’re willing to settle for any childcare they can get, well that’s another issue in itself. The childcare dilemma isn’t an isolated one either. It’s something that people from all over the world are continually dealing with. Now, a new report shows just what that problem is like in Brazil.

Unlicensed daycare is increasing in Brazil because of the insufficiency of childcare in the country.

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A report by BBC says that because there are not enough daycare centers to meet the demands of the entire population in the country, more and more women are taking care of children even if they don’t have any background in childcare.

While the news report says that public childcare is free in Brazil, the waiting list is extensive. “It is estimated that 1.8 million infants and toddlers are shut out of daycare by a lack of places or excessive commutes,” the BBC reports.

The demand means that more unqualified people, who are not monitored or regulated by any law, are setting up their own childcare centers in order to provide care for those who are left out of the system.

The report tells the story of Lindassi Pereira, a 44-year-old woman, who takes care of 10 to 15 children at a time.

“Daycares would be good with hours where we could leave and pick up children outside of business hours, but unfortunately it’s not like that,” Luana Andrade told the BBC. She leaves her 3-year-old daughter with Pereira because she doesn’t work typical business hours. “We have to search and adapt. [Pereira is] a great person; I just have thanks to her and her family for helping me.”

The other issue, unfortunately, falls on low-income families who cannot afford to enlist their kids in private childcare.

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While families with privilege and wealth can seek private childcare, almost 34 percent of the most impoverished children go without proper childcare because it’s not available to them.

“In my suburb, there are just two daycares, but there are lots and lots of children,” Pereira told the BBC. “If there isn’t someone in the family to take care of them, then the daycares don’t help because there are so few and the waiting list is really, really big.”

However, there are signs that the childcare system in Brazil may be improving soon.

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Elisa Mansur, a 27-year-old entrepreneur, has created a startup called Mopi, which is a “network of home-based Brazilian daycare centers.” According to the BBC, her idea won the 2018 World Bank Youth Summit project competition.

According to World Bank, Mopi has the ability to serve 7 million underserved children in Brazil.

“I saw that there’s this informal system where women in their own houses charge to look after one, two, three, four, 10 or 15 children,” Mansur told the BBC. “So I said these women are making a difference but the government doesn’t look at them and the work they’re doing and aren’t giving them any support, and that they were completely ignored on the edges of society.”

Mopi will include a rating system based on family reviews of caregivers as well as a training course and a model for teaching lessons necessary at this stage of development.

The issue for the children of Brazil doesn’t just fall on the hands of the parents, who lack proper childcare, but the government’s mistreatment of those they already had in their care.

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In 2016, according to the Human Right’s Watch, an estimated 24,000 children and young adults were living in Brazil’s juvenile detention facilities. Many of those children also faced abuse and torture within the detention facilities from staff members.

(H/T: BBC)

READ: Here’s How Brazil’s New President Went After LGBTQ People And Minorities His First Week In Office

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Brazil Just Passed a Bill That Will Allow Rich Corporations to ‘Skip the Line’ for COVID-19 Vaccines

Things That Matter

Brazil Just Passed a Bill That Will Allow Rich Corporations to ‘Skip the Line’ for COVID-19 Vaccines

Photo via Getty Images

Currently, Brazil is one of the world’s epicenters of the coronavirus. In March 2021, Brazil saw 66,573 COVID-19-related deaths. That means 1 in every 3 COVID-related deaths worldwide are occuring in Brazil.

And it doesn’t appear that the numbers will be slowing down anytime soon. While the United States is making strides in their COVID-19 vaccine distribution, Brazil is lagging far behind. And things are about to get a lot more complicated.

On Tuesday, Brazil passed a bill that would allow corporations to buy up as many vaccines as they can get their hands on, and privately distribute them to their employees first.

Elected officials in Brazil are arguing that the country has become so desperate to vaccinate its citizens, that it doesn’t matter who gets the vaccines first at this point.

The country, once renowned for having one of the most robust and efficient public vaccine-distribution programs in the world, has failed to make strides towards getting their citizens vaccinated.

“We are at war,” said the leader of the chamber, Arthur Lira. “And in war, anything goes to save lives.” We don’t know about you, but usually when it comes to war, we’ve heard that soldiers prioritize the health and safety of young, the weak, and the elderly before their own? We digress…

Brazil’s plan to privatize the vaccine rollout has brought up moral and ethical questions.

From the beginning, the World Health Organization has asked countries to first prioritize essential health workers and then high-risk populations when distributing the vaccine.

Anything other than that would promote a pay-to-play schemes in which the rich could protect their lives before poor people could. And poor people are more likely to die from COVID-19 in the first place.

As Alison Buttenheim, behavioral scientist and expert on the equitable allocation of the COVID-19 vaccine said, vaccine distribution should not “exacerbate disparities and inequities in health care,” but instead address them. Brazil’s vaccine rollout plan would fail to do any of the above.

If countries begin to allow the rich to prioritize their own interests during the vaccine rollout, the consequences could be disastrous.

In a time when the world is stoked by fear and uncertainty, the worst thing that can happen is for rich companies to exacerbate inequalities by effectively choosing who lives or dies.

As the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization said at the beginning of the global vaccine rollout: “any distribution of vaccines should advance human well-being and honor global equity, national equity, reciprocity, and legitimacy.”

Poor Brazilians should not be left to fend for themselves against COVID-19 simply because they are poor.

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AOC Gets Under Ted Cruz’s Skin With Crack About His Mexican Getaway After He Accuses Her Of Pushing For ‘open borders’

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AOC Gets Under Ted Cruz’s Skin With Crack About His Mexican Getaway After He Accuses Her Of Pushing For ‘open borders’

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ted Cruz are at it again on Twitter. This time it’s about immigration policy. After recently traveling to the US-Mexican border to underline the recent rise in immigration, Cruz accused AOC of pushing for a “full open borders” policy.

And of course, AOC got him with some solid zingers.

AOC in turn hit back at Cruz for recently fleeing his home state of Texas during its power grid collapse to vacation in Cancún.

In response to Cruz’s attack, AOC suggested Mexico avoid allowing Cruz in the next time he attempts to vacation there. She also called on him to resign from office for his attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

“Ted, this is pretty rich coming from someone who fled their own home (and responsibilities) during an environmental crisis to cross the border and seek refuge in Mexico,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. “Also you funded cages, expanded cages, and yet you’re complaining about cages. You have no policy, just puff.”

Ocasio-Cortez accused Republicans of hypocritically attacking the current administration’s detention of migrant children at the border after they supported President Donald Trump’s policy of separating migrant parents from their children.

Currently, Democrats like AOC are calling on Biden to impliment more liberal immigration policies.

Republicans have strongly expressed their dislike for the recent rise in migrants which has come as a result of Biden’s reversal of Trump’s most rigid border policies.

AOC is currently a co-sponsor of the Roadmap to Freedom resolution. The resolution calls on the Federal Government to develop and implement a Roadmap to Freedom “in order to overhaul the outdated immigration system in the United States that has gone without significant reform for decades, and to relieve the great human impact an unjust system bears on communities around the country.”

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