BRAZIL: The Salesian Network provided 460 youth and their families food assistance in Manaus
(MissionNewswire) The Salesian Network, in collaboration with partners, has provided 460 youth and their families with food assistance in the city of Manaus on the banks of the Negro River in northwestern Brazil. Families in need were tracked and identified through an app. More than 800 baskets of food were delivered, with deliveries observing the guidelines for coronavirus prevention provided by the World Health Organization.
“Salesians in Brazil and around the globe are working to ensure that families have the basic necessities to get through this challenging time,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Salesian missionaries live in the communities in which they work so they are perfectly positioned to assess local need and ensure that relief supplies make it to the families who are most in need.”
Relief work is happening across Brazil. The Mamma Margarita Salesian Youth Center, located in the municipality of Niterói in the Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro, has also been helping needy families impacted by the coronavirus pandemic by distributing food and hygiene products. The youth center launched a Salesian Solidarity Campaign, which has supported these efforts for four months. Since the start of the pandemic, many businesses, companies and shops have had to suspend their work. This included the Salesian Youth Center.
According to the Salesian Social Communication Office, many children who live in the areas surrounding the Salesian Youth Center were being fed at the youth center before the pandemic because their families did not have enough money for food. It was critical that funds were utilized to continue to feed these children during the lockdown period.
Brazil has one of the strongest economies in Latin America and is an important agricultural and industrial power in the region. Just over 15 percent of Brazilians live in poverty, with the majority living in the rural northeast of the country, according to the World Bank. While Brazil is making positive changes, there are still large gaps between the poor and the rich, and issues of income inequality and social exclusion remain at the root of 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. Salesian missionaries working with poor youth and their families in Brazil develop programs and provide youth opportunities for furthering their education and skills.
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Salesian Missions – Brazil
World Bank – Brazil