Latest update

Over 19 million people in Brazil have been infected with COVID-19 as of July 19th. An average of 40,696 cases are being reported daily, a decrease from the 63,000 in June. At this time, Brazil has fully vaccinated 29% of its 211.7 million people, up from 17% reported in early June. Hospitals have been better able to care for patients as the daily number of critical cases has gone down. Restrictions vary by location, with some cities enforcing lockdowns. The economy of Brazil has grown for the third quarter straight and has reached pre-pandemic levels despite the ongoing spread of COVID-19. This is a result of the country’s strong agricultural sector and a stimulus package which gave payments to the poorest citizens.

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Country update

How is Compassion currently operating in Brazil?

  • Are Compassion centres open?

    Most Compassion centres in Brazil are meeting in small groups, with roughly a third doing distance-only ministry and home visits. Staff members continue to call and check on families and in some communities they are able to visit children while obeying social distancing guidelines. Local church partners are making every effort to provide for the basic needs of children, including the delivery of over 519,000 food baskets and almost 359,000 hygiene kits. Additionally, they have provided medical support to almost 127,000 people.

  • 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 decide the best use of the money, recognising that sometimes purchasing food or paying rent is in the best interest of a child.

How you can pray

Thank you for praying for children and families in Brazil who have been impacted by COVID-19—and the local staff and churches who continue to serve them in difficult circumstances.

Please join us in praying for the following:

  • Pray that God would continue to heal Dayra as she recovers from a tragic accident.
  • Pray that God would heal João and allow him to make a complete recovery from the chemical burns he received while playing with hand sanitiser.
  • Pray for comfort and peace for Mateus as he continues to grieve the passing of his mother.
  • Pray that God would keep Daphne, her family and the Project Director safe as they travel to provide Daphne with the medical treatment she needs to survive.
  • Pray for wisdom and discernment for the doctors as they work to diagnose Ana’s illness.
  • Pray that God would provide economic stability to the country of Brazil as parents and caregivers seek to provide for their families.
  • Pray for God’s protection for the children and families who are most vulnerable in the upcoming rainy season.
  • Pray for peace and safety for the people and communities who could be potentially impacted by gang violence.
Emergency healthcare in Brazil

Emergency healthcare in Brazil

With Brazil in the peak of the pandemic in mid-May, hospitals prioritised treating patients with suspected COVID-19 or those with extreme emergencies. So when 13-year-old José was complaining of pain in his lower abdomen, he visited a neighbourhood health centre only to be given pain medication and sent home. His condition grew worse from there.   Read more open_in_new

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Please note: Due to the current pandemic, most child development centres in Brazil are temporarily closed. Our local church partners continue to meet the urgent needs of the children through home-based care.

A snapshot of Compassion's Child Sponsorship Program in Brazil

Compassion’s program is contextualised across countries and communities, as well as age groups.

  • Children aged 1 to 3 receive home-based care.
  • Children aged 3 to 5 visit the Compassion centre for four hours a day, two days a week.
  • Children aged 6 to 11 attend the centre for three hours a day, two days a week.
  • Students aged 12 to 18 attend the centre for four hours once a week.
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Compassion Program Activities in Brazil

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Compassion assisted children in Brazil typically attend program activities at their local child development centre before or after school. Here is an example of what a typical program day looks like for children in Brazil.

Devotional time - Children are taught to pray.

Spiritual lessons - Children sing songs and learn Bible stories. Compassion Brazil gives age appropriate Bibles to children when they are six, 10 and when they graduate from the Child Sponsorship Program.

Break and snack time - Children can play in a safe environment and develop friendships. A snack often consists of an egg sandwich with tea, fruit shake and crackers, fruit salad, or bread.

Social-emotional lessons - Children learn conflict resolution skills and how to develop healthy self-esteem and a godly character. Children often come from challenging home environments and are taught social and personal skills.

Lunch and social time - Children generally receive a meal such as pasta, rice, vegetables and/or meat.

Health lessons - Children are taught practical health and hygiene tips.

Letter writing and career planning - Older children work with local staff to identify their strengths and interests, setting realistic goals for their future.

In addition to Compassion’s curriculum, children have opportunities to participate in activities such as sports tournaments, camps, dance performances and job fairs, as well as excursions to parks, museums, zoos and local companies. Older students are typically involved in skills workshops such as hairdressing, information technology and office skills.

The greatest needs impacting children living in poverty in Brazil

One of the world’s biggest economies and a rising global power, Brazil has struggled for decades with a growing gap between rich and poor—a gap that has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Officially in recession and struggling to rebound from the terrible health toll of 2020, Brazil faces an uncertain future—and the nation’s poor remain marginalised.

Home to more than 210 million people, Brazil has the largest population in Latin America, with the majority of citizens living in industrial cities, like Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Rapid growth in the urban population has created serious social, environmental and political problems, with millions of people living in slums and on the streets.

Children living on the streets are subject to drug and solvent abuse, as well as prostitution and violence. As a result of extreme poverty, child prostitution is on the rise, particularly in areas frequented by foreign tourists such as Rio de Janeiro, Recife and Fortaleza.

Many indigenous groups, particularly in the Amazon region, lack access to healthcare and other services. They have been hit hard by the twin threats of the COVID-19 pandemic and rampant deforestation, which is often driven by cattle ranchers, illegal mining and drug cartels encroaching on their traditional lands.

In rural regions of the country, literacy, infant survival rates and access to water facilities are well below the national average. Only 51 per cent of people in rural areas have access to improved sanitation facilities, compared to 88 per cent in the cities.

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