BRAZIL: Don Bosco Educational Center provides food aid to 300 families
Salesians join efforts with public and private partners to address food shortages due to COVID-19 pandemic
(MissionNewswire) Don Bosco Educational Center, located in Natal, Brazil, in collaboration with the Solidarity Bus Project of the Urban Transportation Companies Union and the Municipal Secretariat of Labor and Social Assistance of Natal, distributed food aid to 300 families of youth who attend the oratory at the center.
The initiative was made possible thanks to food collection activities in the city’s supermarkets that were launched to help people in economically and socially vulnerable situations. More than 700 youth from vulnerable backgrounds attend the Don Bosco Educational Center’s oratory. Since March 2020, the center has joined efforts with various public and private partners to address food shortages brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Salesians in Brazil and around the globe are working to ensure that families have the basic necessities they need to survive,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Salesian missionaries live in the communities in which they work, so they are perfectly positioned to assess local need and ensure that relief supplies make it to the families who are most in need.”
Salesian missionaries in Brazil provide education, workforce development, and social services throughout the country and specifically focus on children with disabilities within several programs. Missionaries help to meet the basic needs of poor youth, including street children, and provide them with an education and life skills to gain employment, break the cycle of poverty and lead productive lives.
According to the World Bank, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on Brazil with poverty tripling in 2021. Nearly 17 million people fell into poverty in the first quarter of the year and the poverty rate now is higher than it was a decade ago. Researchers estimate that 12.8 percent of Brazil’s population, some 27 million people, are now living below the poverty line.
Issues of income inequality and social exclusion remain the root causes for those in poverty. Inequalities also exist in access to education and educational efficiency. These inequalities are greatest for children and youth who are poor, live in rural areas or who have an incomplete compulsory education. Salesians working with poor youth and their families in Brazil develop programs and provide youth with opportunities for furthering their education and skills.
ANS Photo (usage permissions and guidelines must be requested from ANS)
Salesian Missions – Brazil
World Bank – Brazil