BRAZIL: Indigenous families receive food baskets
Operation Mato Grosso provides 300 food baskets to Indigenous Xavante families
(MissionNewswire) The Salesian-run Operation Mato Grosso, with the aid of Italian benefactors, 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.
Souza said, “God never abandons us, especially in this moment of crisis, of difficulty, in which so many people are suffering. We still find so many generous people in this world to do good. Donations on holidays strengthen the work of the Salesians who work throughout the year among the Indigenous people.”
Father José Alves added, “For us Salesians, having the group Operation Mato Grosso as a partner in this work of service to the Xavante Indigenous community is an immense gift from God.”
Today, there are about 10,000 Xavante people in the region, spread over more than 200 villages. These communities face extreme poverty and are receiving support and training for the cultivation of land. They also receive financial support for the purchase of materials, fertilizers and seeds.
Hunger is one of the biggest challenges and the situation has only worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic. About 500 Indigenous people are regularly hired by state and municipal governments to work in the field of education. With school suspended to avoid infection, people were without work and their families faced hunger. There have been several cases of underweight and malnourished children — and even deaths of children — due to illnesses aggravated by the lack of food.
Issues of income inequality and social exclusion remain the root causes for those living in poverty in Brazil. 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