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With more than 13 million people having been infected, Brazil is the Latin American country most affected by the pandemic. Although Brazil has less than 3% of the world’s people, it is experiencing nearly one-third of the daily global deaths from COVID-19.

Intensive care units in 25 of the 27 states are over 80% capacity, and several countries have shut their borders with Brazil to try to stop the virus from spreading. As of 6th April, Brazil had administered enough doses to fully vaccinate about 5.2% of its 211.7 million people. Millions of Brazilians are unemployed, and there is concern over a mounting financial crisis.

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COVID-19 in Brazil

How is Compassion currently operating in Brazil?

  • Are Compassion centres open?

    Compassion child development centres in Brazil have begun a phased reopening. Only a handful of child development centers are open for normal activities.

    Some local church partners are able to conduct home visits and virtual activities. Local partners are making every effort to provide for the basic needs of beneficiaries, including the delivery of more than 401,000 food baskets and 293,000 hygiene kits. Additionally, they have provided medical support to over 24,000 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’s wisdom would be with the doctors and medical staff as they treat Carlos’s motorcycle injuries.
  • Pray for peace and comfort João and his family as they wait to hear the diagnosis of João’s symptoms.
  • Pray that God would protect and keep Cauã safe from any harm. Please pray that Vitória's mother would be able to get the rest and medical attention she needs to recover and continue care for her daughter.
  • Pray that God would provide godly men and women that would help and give Sarah the love and support she needs to grow and thrive.
  • Pray that God would continue to protect and prevent COVID-19 from continuing to spread.
  • Pray that God would give Brazil’s leadership wisdom and guidance as they seek to bring stability to their economy.
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

Crisis Reports from Brazil

  • update icon

    Rivers Overflowed in Recife & Paraiba, Brazil 16 May, 2021

    The situation

    Due to heavy rain, the rivers Rio Tejipió and Rio Jaguaribe overflowed and caused flooding in the towns of Recife and Joaão Pessoa. Many families have lost their homes and are temporarily staying in local shelters and churches.

    Global Compassion impact

    Number of local church partners affected: not yet confirmed. Number of Compassion assisted children affected: not yet confirmed.

    New information

    The affected families are being supported by the local government and the churches with food, hygiene items and medical care as needed.


    Please pray for the protection and provision of children, families and church partners.


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.

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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