Todays was my youngest brothers birthday, and he was blessed to share the day caring about these young men. We did two performances for two different groups and both times we really got through to the kids. The director told us that in 15 years of working there, and seeing other groups come in and talk to the kids, he had never seen anything like what we did. He said we were the first people he ever saw “speak their language”. That is why we use cool music, do a little rap, cool magic ecs, so that we can speak their language and reach inside them.
The way it works here in Brazil is that minors, 17 years and younger, cannot be tried as adults or receive a long prison scnetence. So big times gangs, recruit these kids to commit serious crimes knowing they will get less time. It is tragic what some of these kids, who are really mere children, have done and now have to figure out how to deal with. After our performance, many of the guys came up and just wanted to tell their stories. One guy named Lucas, had just watch his mother die in the hospital. One guy had just had his right eye shot out by a cop who was chasing him. One kid had 7 brothers he was raising. Many told us that we had changed them forever and they were going to leave the gangs, maybe leave this city if thats what it took, and that they wanted to do good with their life.