BRAZIL: Indigenous youth receive new school clothing
Salesian Brazil Network provides clothes to Indigenous communities under the Operation Maturacá project
(MissionNewswire) Salesian Brazil Network held the third annual Operation Maturacá project, in collaboration with the Armed Forces and several donors, to support Indigenous communities in need. Hundreds of garments were delivered to the most inaccessible areas of the Amazon thanks to the generous donation of Pluriforme, a company that manufactures and provides school and corporate uniforms. The logistics of the delivery was supported by the company Equilibrium.
“Since I became aware of the difficulties faced by the missionary communities of Alto Rio Negro, I have felt the call to look for strategies to strengthen the supportive actions carried out on the ground,” explained Sister Silvia Aparecida da Silva, executive director of the Salesian Brazil Network. “The collaboration with Pluriforme and the Armed Forces has helped us reach the community of Maturacá to deliver the donations we have obtained.”
In addition, 30 boxes of clothing were delivered to the Salesian mission in Maturacá. Students, educators and missionaries mobilized to distribute the goods.
“We are extremely grateful for this important gesture from the Salesian Brazil Network,” said Father Wellington Abreu, a local Salesian missionary. “The children can now have an extra shirt and shorts to go to school. Some families have eight or nine children and giving them new clothes is often a big challenge. Clothing is also crucial for hunters and fishermen who now have adequate clothing to do their work. We are very close to the Pico da Neblina and when it rains the temperature drops a lot. It was a great help for them to receive jackets, sweaters and long-sleeved shirts.”
Many in the Maturacá community said they were happy and relieved to have received this donation. “They are really very nice uniforms and it was a joy for the families to see their children in new uniforms,” said Maciel Figueiredo Mendonça, a teacher at the Immaculate Conception State Indigenous School in Maturacá.
Everton de Souza Maia, a student at Immaculate Conception School, added, “For me, receiving this donation really meant a lot. For parents who have many children, it is not easy to buy new clothes. But now we can have very good quality uniforms.”
Operation Maturacá was launched in 2018 and continued to 2020 when it was stopped because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was successfully resumed in 2022 with plans for it to continue each year.
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.
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Salesian Missions – Brazil
World Bank – Brazil