Brazil

Population:194.9 millionLiteracy Rate:Rate: 90%Religion: Roman Catholic (73.6%)

Salesian Missions is providing opportunity in Brazil, where there are large gaps between the rich and poor. One in four people live in poverty, and at-risk youth are exposed to drugs, violence and unemployment on a daily basis. Serious water quality issues plague remote areas of Western Brazil due to pesticide contamination. And families along the coastal areas of Santa Catarina struggle to rebuild after devastating floods in 2008.

Featured Mission

Bring Water and Electricity

To address serious water issues resulting from pesticide pollution in a remote area of western Brazil, Salesian Missions worked with members of the Xavante and Bororo Indian communities to obtain clean water from previously inaccessible areas. To do so, they first created wells and designed a mobile drilling truck. To create power, they invented and patented a seesaw pump that would draw water from the depths of the well as children were playing.  Now, solar panels are used. The result is reduced risk of disease, access to potable water, improved infrastructure and expanded farming. The immediate response to a crisis in a community has become a well organized project to ensure the growth of the indigenous groups.


More Missions in Brazil

Build Schools

The government of Brazil is committed to bringing universal education to the country. Still, inequalities in education remain in access to education and educational efficiency, according to a UNESCO report. These inequalities are greatest for children and youth who are poor, live in rural areas or who have an incomplete compulsory education.

At the Don Bosco Youth Center, youth from the slums of Cabana take part in socio-educational opportunities to help close educational gaps. Many parents work in the informal sector, and youth often face drugs, violence and unemployment on a daily basis. Josimar is one success story. He received an education and health care services at the youth center – and then moved into job training and job placement assistance. Today, he continues with his job and is pursuing a degree in business at a local college with a full scholarship. 

Bring Sports Programs

Sports provide a positive alternative for the street children in the city of Abaethetuba, Brazil. At the Salesian Center, a recreation facility provides a wide range of healthy and productive activities. Children participate on teams, make friends and gain a sense of accomplishment.

Teach Job Skills to Youth

The government of Brazil is committed to bringing universal education to the country. Still, inequalities in education remain in access to education and educational efficiency, according to a UNESCO report. These inequalities are greatest for children and youth who are poor, live in rural areas or who have an incomplete compulsory education. At the Don Bosco Youth Center in Cabana, youth from the slums of Cabana take part in socio-educational opportunities to help close educational gaps. Approximately 80% of parents work in the informal sector, and youth often face drugs, violence and unemployment on a daily basis. Josimar is one success story. He received an education and health care services at the youth center – and then moved into job training and job placement assistance. Today, he continues with his job and is pursuing a degree in business at a local college with a full scholarship.

Feed Hungry Children

Nearly one fourth of Brazilians live in poverty and 6.6% live in extreme poverty, according to a 2008 UNESCO report. While Brazil is making positive changes, there are still large gaps between the poor and the rich. In Brazil, Salesian Missions is focused on ensuring at-risk children and youth have their basic needs met, so that they can work for a better future. For example, at the Salesian Mission Community Center in Porto Alegre, street children receive three nutritious meals a day, clean clothing, medical care, schooling and a safe place to get much needed rest. One child is Natalie, a seven year old found living on the streets. Like many street children, she was a victim of abuse and neglect. She ran away searching for a better life. In Porto Alegre – and in centers across Brazil – children like Natalie find the support and care needed for a happy, productive life.

Provide Disaster Relief

After heavy rains pummeled the coastal area of Santa Catarina, Brazil in 2008, three Salesian communities in the area led efforts to shelter the storm’s refugees. In Itaji, one of the hardest hit areas, the Salesian Institute provided housing, food and warm clothes to 900 victims. Additionally, Parque Dom Bosco, on the outskirts of the city, offered similar aid to 500 people.

Give Hope to Street Children

In Brazil, Salesian Missions is focused on ensuring at-risk children and youth have their basic needs met, so that they can work for a better future. For example, at the Salesian Mission Community Center in Porto Alegre, street children receive three nutritious meals a day, clean clothing, medical care, schooling and a safe place to get much needed rest. One child is Natalie, a seven year old found living on the streets. Like many street children, she was a victim of abuse and neglect. She ran away searching for a better life. In Porto Alegre – and in centers across Brazil – children like Natalie find the support and care needed for a happy, productive life.

Teach Leadership Skills to Youth

A brand new Salesian Center is providing a positive alternative for street children in the city of Abaetetuba. The abandoned and at-risk child and youth can take part in wide variety of healthy and productive activities. The Center includes a recreation facility where children are able to participate on teams, make friends and gain a sense of accomplishment.

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