In Brazil, poor youth often choose life on the streets to escape the poverty of the slums and, more often, to escape abusive families. On the streets, they are exposed to HIV/AIDS, malnutrition, child prostitution, substance abuse, and violence.
With the blessing of the National Baptist Convention of Brazil, Corenne and Philip minister to children who are part of a residential program that rescues homeless street children and youth ranging in age from 8 to 18. The program provides guidance, education, and training for future employment. All students have completed a paid internship and are employed before they leave the program. Corenne works mainly with the older children, working with them on life skills so that they can eventually transition away from a boarding school to independent living. Corenne also serves as a surrogate mother to many of the children, sharing with them the love of Jesus. After experiencing day-to-day living in a safe, caring Christian environment, most of these children make decisions to follow Christ.
Philip Smith is the president and CEO of the residential program, Hope Unlimited for Children, which was founded in 1991. Philip is an associate missionary serving in Brazil in a joint appointment by International Ministries and Hope Unlimited International.