Gedeilson was a jury member from 2003 to 2004. He represented the street children and is now an Honorary Adult Friend.
These are excerpts from the story about Gedeilson when he was a jury member: Ever since he was eight, Gedeilson has stood up for the rights of the child. He’s hoping to see a home for street children built where he lives. Gedeilson dislikes the politicians who have voted for putting young children in prison. Instead, they should see to it that every child gets an education. In June 2002, he spoke before Brazil’s National Congress protesting the law that allows young children to be imprisoned. ‘If the politicians did their job and children knew about their rights, Brazil would be a better country for children to live in,’ says Gedeilson. He lives in a poor section in Colatina where many people are drug dealers. ‘I often see kids 9 or 10 selling drugs for the dealers. I try to warn them.’ Until a year ago, Gedeilson worked on the streets minding and washing cars. ‘It look ed as though the street would be my life, but I managed to avoid using drugs. Now I’m a trainee at a company and I attend school in the evening. Thanks to school, I can hope for a better future. I get up at 6:30 a.m. and don’t get home from school before 11:30 p.m.’
Text ©: Christiane Sampaoi, Marlene Winberg and Magnus Bergmar Photo ©: Cristina Silva and Kim Naylor