Last Updated: 24/09/2020

Brazil’s economy has officially entered a recession following the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed 136,000 Brazilians and pushed millions into unemployment. At least four potential vaccines, produced by Western and Chinese firms, are already in trials or will be soon.

While Compassion activities are on hold, local partners are making every effort to provide for the basic needs of beneficiaries, including the delivery of 232,489 food baskets and 179,422 hygiene kits. Additionally, they have provided medical support to 8,948 people. Partner churches are maintaining phone contact with families and providing Bible stories, video lessons and prayers, as well as care for those struggling mentally and emotionally. Some churches have been able to hold small youth group gatherings and worship services with fewer than 30 people attending.

A Message From Compassion Brazil’s National Director

Hear from Vanessa Viotti, National Director of Compassion Brazil, as she shares an update on how COVID-19 is affecting Compassion’s ministry in Brazil.

Updated: 20/08/2020

How is Compassion Currently Operating in Brazil?

Below, you will find the latest information on how Compassion is currently operating in Brazil, including status updates on center openings, letter delivery and gift delivery. This is the most current information we have, though it can change quickly. Please know that even if centers are closed and letters and gifts are not being delivered, your child and his or her family are being checked in on regularly by staff. We all look forward to the day we will all be able to gather together again!

Are Compassion Centers Open?

Currently, all centers in Brazil are closed in order to abide by local guidelines. Staff members are working to create virtual programming activity, including videos and livestreams. They continue to call and check in on families, and in some communities they are able to visit children while obeying social distancing guidelines. Because of the generous support of sponsors and donors, they have been able to distribute 232,489 food baskets and 179,422 hygiene kits to children and their families!

Are Children Receiving Letters?

The majority of letters are delayed in Brazil, which means it may take longer for you to receive letters from your child. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t write! We encourage you to continue sending your sponsored child letters of encouragement and hope. What a joyful day it will be when those letters are delivered!

Are Gifts Being Delivered?

Gifts continue to be distributed in Brazil, although they are currently delayed. In some communities, staff members have needed to disburse monetary gifts to an appropriate, verified caregiver. This applies to family gifts and child gifts (including birthday and final gifts). Families may spend the gift on whatever they consider most important to meet family needs. The caregiver will be notified whether a gift has been designated as a child gift or family gift. The caregiver will decide the best use of the money, recognizing that sometimes purchasing food or paying rent is in the best interest of a child.

Story From the Field

In mid-May, José started to feel pain in his lower belly, and his parents took him to the neighborhood health center. Due to the peak of the pandemic in Brazil, hospitals had prioritized treating patients with suspected COVID-19. The 13-year-old boy was given pain medication and sent home. However, his pain became even stronger.

Desperate to help their son, José's parents were informed that the Happy Child Project Child Development Center, which José has attended since he was 6, had a doctor available for children's medical evaluations.

“José was getting purple lips and was in a lot of pain. I didn't know what to do, and my heart was desperate. If we hadn't seen the project doctor, I don't know how long my son would be able to wait for medical assistance or an ambulance,” says Tatiana, José's mother.

When Dr. Claudia examined José, she diagnosed him with appendicitis. She contacted the city hospital to prepare them for his arrival, and the center covered the teenager's transportation costs.

After surgery, José had to spend a few days in the hospital under medical observation for his complete recovery. Back at home, the Dr. Claudia and volunteers from the center continue to support the family and monitor José’s recovery.

“My father is out of a job because of the pandemic, so everything has become more difficult. However, my sponsor sent me a gift to buy food, and that helped us,” says José. “The center is helping my family a lot at this tough time for us. I am very grateful to them for not having left me alone or ignored my pain even in the pandemic.”

How can I pray for Brazil?

Pray for the Indigenous communities in Brazil, as they have been hit especially hard by the pandemic. Pray that they will have access to testing, medication and supplies.

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