BRAZIL: Families in need receive food baskets
Salesian volunteers provide food baskets to 200 poor families in Mato Grosso
(MissionNewswire) Salesian volunteers from the Shrine of Our Lady Help of Christians in Cuiabá, Mato Grosso, Brazil, distributed baskets containing food, hygiene products and other basic necessities to 200 poor families living in neighborhoods near a landfill. The volunteer group has been providing donations for the past five years in collaboration with Father Dídimo Campos Filho, rector of the Shrine.
“Salesian missionaries with the support of volunteers have been providing for the poor and marginalized in Mato Grosso for many years,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Hunger is one of the biggest challenges and the situation has only worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic. There have been several cases of underweight and malnourished children, and nutritional support is critical.”
Also supporting Mato Grosso is the Salesian-run Operation Mato Grosso, which earlier this year provided 300 food baskets to Indigenous Xavante families in the villages of Campinápolis, Brazil. Operation Mato Grosso is led by Vanderlei Miranda Souza, a volunteer who has been working with the Xavante people for 20 years.
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.
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.
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Salesian Missions – Brazil
World Bank – Brazil