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BRAZIL: Work helps prevent child malnutrition

Salesian missionaries provide food support to children in Xavante villages


(MissionNewswire) Salesian missionaries are concerned about child malnutrition in the Xavante villages in the municipality of Nova Xavantina in Campinápolis, Brazil. A lack of rain, poor food, hygiene conditions and the length of distance to travel to urban centers were identified as the causes that most affect the situation.

Recently, Isabel Silveira Dias, regional coordinator for Pastoral Care of Children in the state of Mato Grosso, Salesian Deacon José Alves, and Kaique Lima, a volunteer, visited the villages of Santa Helena, Betânia, São Francisco, and Teihidzatsé.

In each of these villages, food kits were distributed to children. Provided by Operation Mato Grosso, the kits contained food purchased by volunteers and sent by benefactors from the Immaculate Conception Parish in the city of Bilac. The most worrisome cases of malnutrition were recorded in the village of Teihidzatsé where children were checked for weight. Vitamins were administered in the most severe cases.

Alves said, “Through all the partners who join the Salesian mission we can reach the villages and distribute food and clothes.”

In addition, a soup kitchen was set up in Santa Helena to provide meals with vegetables, pasta, and ground meat. In Betânia, clothes, food, and hygiene materials for infants prepared by the Campinápolis Children’s Pastoral Care team were distributed. The AMA (Mobile Missionary Assistance) project team is providing maintenance and efficiency of water wells, pumps, and tanks in São Francisco, and food items were also distributed.

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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ANS – Brazil – Child malnutrition in Nova Xavantina’s Xavante villages worries Salesian missionaries

Salesian Missions – Brazil

World Bank – Brazil