BRAZIL: Struggling families receive food baskets
Salesian missionaries in Corumbá provided nutritional support to families in need throughout 2020
(MissionNewswire) Salesian missionaries in Corumbá, Mato Grosso, Brazil, provided 150 food baskets to families in need over the Christmas holiday and more than 900 food baskets over the last year. These efforts were made possible by the Bell of Charity project, one of the largest and most traditional humanitarian aid and charitable projects in the Corumbá region, which was created more than 50 years ago by Salesian Father Ernesto Sassida. In 2020, the Bell of Charity project was helped by the Municipal Social Assistance Fund project.
In addition, food, clothes and toys collected and donated by local residents were distributed to families during the weeks before Christmas. The efforts were supported by partner companies and institutions. The items were collected and distributed by Don Bosco City.
“Salesian programs provide more than education to help families in need and nutritional support is essential, especially this year as many families struggle,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Salesian organizations are appreciative of the support they receive from local community members and businesses who help support their initiatives. It’s collaboration that makes programs possible.”
Don Bosco City offers a range of education and social development programs for poor youth and their families in the region. The Don Bosco State School provides elementary and high school education to 2,000 students. The Happy Children and Adolescents Program assists close to 500 children and adolescents in situations of social vulnerability, providing socio-education and social, psychological and educational training as well as nutritional support. Don Bosco City also offers an Adolescent Apprentice Program, which provides hands-on training in the labor market through a partnership with companies in the region.
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.
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 have fallen 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 the country.
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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Salesian Missions – Brazil
World Bank – Brazil