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BRAZIL: Salesian Mission Animation project visits indigenous communities for well restoration activities


(MissionNewswire) Every two to three months, a team from the Salesian Mission Animation project travels through the Brazilian state of Mato Grasso to provide well repair and other services to the region’s indigenous communities. Indigenous Xavante live in 180 villages in the region and are part of the St. Domenico Savio parish in Campinapolis. Father Bartolomeo Giaccaria, a Salesian missionary, is the parish priest who has a long history of service to the poorest of the poor.

The service trip lasts a few weeks. Salesian Deacon José Alves explained that all activities are planned in detail. He said, “We enter the villages praying and accompany the lessons and activities already happening at the schools and health services. We meet people in their villages and on the roads. If they have problems with the functioning of the wells, we take note of them and we return knowing in advance which wells need maintenance.”

Close to 500 people live in 13 villages near Campinapolis and benefit from the wells. The Salesian Mission Animation project provides minor repairs to the wells such as changing the pumps, repairing the taps and other services. The existing wells were built over the last 30 years according to the needs of the local community. The last borehole created by the Salesian project was built in the village of Teihidzatse three years ago.

Other wells were built in the villages thanks to state support. The well maintenance project answers a clear need of the Xavante people of the region. Indigenous people usually build their villages on the banks of small streams, which sometimes dry up in periods of drought. When it rains, the water becomes very muddy. Indigenous people use this water from rivers and streams to drink and cook, regardless of the water quality, which is why water restoration and well-digging projects are so critical to these communities.

The World Bank estimates that about 28.6 million Brazilians moved out of poverty between 2004 and 2014. But from the start of 2016 to the end of 2017, the World Bank estimates that 2.5 million to 3.6 million fell back below the poverty line earning less than 140 Brazilian reais per month. Economists blame high unemployment, near 13 percent, and cuts to key social welfare programs for challenges in Brazil.

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.



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ANS – Brazil – AMA project travels to Xavantes villages for maintenance of wells

Salesian Missions – Brazil

World Bank – Brazil

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