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BRAZIL: Indigenous Xavante people facing hunger receive food baskets

Salesian St. Domenico Savio Parish helps provide food baskets to Indigenous Xavante people faced with hunger


(MissionNewswire) Indigenous Xavante people, who live within the Campinápolis village in the Brazilian state of Mato Grasso, have been receiving food baskets and other supplies thanks to donors from the local Salesian St. Domenico Savio Parish. Indigenous people represent about 60 percent of the population of the municipality of Campinápolis.

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, as well as 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. Given school has been suspended to avoid infection, people have been without work and their families are facing 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.

The food basket initiative was done in collaboration with the Salesian Operation Mato Grosso, the Immaculate Conception Parish of Bilac in the state of São Paulo, and the Indigenist Missionary Council. The needs are much greater than what has already been received. Salesian Deacon José Alves de Oliveira said, “This is the help we are giving, but we see that it is still too little to satisfy the great demand of the population. Help is desperately needed.”

Even though needs remain, recipients expressed gratitude and deep thanks for the help. Moisés, the deputy head of the Xavante people in the village of São Pedro, said, “This donation is a cause of great joy for our whole community. Thank you very much.” The same sentiment was expressed by Vitório, the deputy head of the village of Imaculada Conceição, where in addition to food, clothes and shoes were also distributed. He said, “Thank you so much for remembering us.”

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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