ABBA reaches out to children, adolescents and young adults who suffer from poverty and the violation of rights. We create and coordinate prevention, intervention, protection and formation projects so that their relationships are strengthened and restored, their diverse needs are met, with the freedom to grow and develop with dignity and responsibility. For a complete presentation, access our portfolio.
Reach out to children, adolescents and young adults at risk and social vulnerability in order to strengthen and restore their relationships.
To be part of a national movement, creating and coordinating projects in the areas of prevention, intervention, protection, and formation, in the context of risk and social vulnerability, so that every child, adolescent, and young adult in our country can fully develop in all dimensions of life, through a family life that meets their material, mental, emotional, social, moral needs and by walking in closeness and faithfulness to Jesus.
Based on work with children, adolescents, and young adults who lived on the streets of downtown São Paulo, a group of friends committed to the lives and human rights of children, adolescents, and young adults in a similar situation. From this commitment to Christian and voluntary initiative, ABBA was born, in 1993, in the city of São Paulo. At that moment, the foundation of ABBA's work was established, the conviction that our work offers children, adolescents, and young adults at risk and social vulnerability the paternal care of God. With Aramaic origin, the word “ABBA” means “Father”. It appears in three biblical texts (Gospel of Mark, chapter 14, verse 36; Letter of Paul to the Romans, chapter 8, verse 15; Letter of Paul to the Galatians, chapter 4, verse 6), always followed by the word “Father” ( “ABBA, Father”). In these three occurrences, the word is used as a reference to God as a father, especially in a situation of great need, as a request for the care and comfort that only a father or mother is capable of giving. From this Christian concept, based on the experience of family care, we believe in the restoration of broken relationships, which will guarantee the supply of material, mental, emotional, social, moral, and spiritual needs of these children, adolescents, and young adults.
In our name, we also have the word, Aslan. It is the divine figure in the famous story of The Chronicles of Narnia, written by C. S. Lewis. Aslan, a lion, sings a beautiful melody, and a new world, full of colors and fantastic animals appears: the kingdom of Narnia. Although beautiful, fertile, and harmonious, the kingdom of Narnia, like our world, is fragile and susceptible to the selfish desires of its inhabitants.
In the best-known part of the story, the first to have a film production, Aslan rescues the dignity of four brothers, previously alienated from their real identity, empowering them to be the kings and queens of Narnia, making it a beautiful, fertile, and harmonious kingdom again. Likewise, ABBA's work aims to contribute to building a world closer to what was planned by God. To this end, we reach children, adolescents, and young adults in situations that prevent them from being who they really are and from doing what they should do. We work to protect their rights based on their dignity as human beings, so that these Brazilian children, adolescents, and young adults can contribute, as kings and queens, to building a better world.
Over the years, ABBA's work has taken on new forms but always maintains the same foundation. The involvement with those who lived on the streets led us to the creation of street approach projects, shelters, and the Family Shelter project. The search to prevent this street experience led to the creation of community centers on the outskirts of the city; the attempt to provide better living conditions for those who lived there led us to create a professional training project. Today, these are ABBA's four areas of action: prevention, intervention, protection, and formation. As steps are taken and changes take place, ABBA seems to get closer to its vision: to see every child, adolescent, and young adult in our country capable of fully developing in all dimensions of life, based on God's paternal care.
“The difference about ABBA was the affection they had with the children. It was more affectionate, there were few children... It wasn't like other places I've been to... If the person who is instructing you, educating you, is a good person, you will follow the right path. Now, if the person is bad, you are going the wrong way. One thing I learned at ABBA was to pay more attention to what I was doing. I've always been very explosive, so when I got in there, I saw how different it was. So, I saw that I had to pay more attention to my attitudes, with the volunteers, with the boys... So, I started to pay more attention to what was happening around me”.
Arlindo, 30 years old, arrived at ABBA at the age of 10, going through different projects, and today is an employee of Sólido Móveis, ABBA's Formation project
"The hall where Casa Semear started was next to my house... At first, it seemed really cool, because of the crafts and I always liked handmade stuff... ABBA is different. Of course, it has the religious aspect, of God. Which is great. But people love what they do, they aren’t obligated to do it. And that brings us the message: 'I'm here because I love your life. I invest in it. I'm here because I love you'. Love. This makes people come back, enjoy, and feel welcome. I felt very welcome. You feel safe when you realize that there is love... I felt very loved there. What my family couldn't provide for me, they did. Something more than that. I thought, Alan, you've screwed up a lot in your life and these people haven't given up on you. And you came back, as the prodigal son and these people hug you. And today they invest in you... I have very good memories of going out for walks, going to a square, to play. I felt so happy about something so simple. That was something I didn't have with my family."
Alan, 27, joined Casa Semear at the age of 12 and is now one of the project's educators