Lar Efrata - Instituto Devolver

Associação Evangélica Missão Efrata (“Ephrath Evangelical Mission Association”) was founded on August 1, 1991, in the city of Embu-Guaçu, with the goal of offering, to children and adolescents who were separated from a family context, a welcoming environment and care that contributes to their development. Their goals are for the children to develop holistically, overcome issues related to separation and violence, appropriate and find new meaning in their life stories, and strengthen them as citizens, who are autonomous and inserted into society, among others. They do this through an out-of-home residential care service.

Lar Efrata ("Ephrath Home") was constituted and maintained by religious Baptist principles, and considers religious orientation to be an integral part of childhood and adolescent development. They provide religious assistance within Baptist principles to those who desire it, with weekly devotional activities and participation in Sunday Bible School. However, they prioritize and guarantee Freedom of Belief and Religion, according to article 16 of ECA (Brazilian Statute for the Child and Adolescent), in which children's and adolescents' religious backgrounds are respected: "No child or adolescent should be encouraged or persuaded to change their religious orientation while under care" (including in residential care). In other words, they offer access to activities of the children's religions, as well as their right to "not participate in religious acts and refuse instruction or religious orientation that is not meaningful to them."

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