Latest update

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.

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COVID-19 in Brazil

How is Compassion currently operating in Brazil?

  • Are Compassion centres open?

    All of Compassion’s local church partners and child development centres in Brazil are closed in line with local guidelines.

    While Compassion programs are on hold, local partners are making every effort to provide for the basic needs of children, including the delivery of 232,489 food baskets and 179,422 hygiene kits. Additionally, they have provided medical support to 8948 people.

    Local church partners 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.

  • 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 sponsored 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. Staff members have been given the option to disburse monetary gifts to an appropriate, verified caregiver, if necessary. 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:

  • Comfort for Davylla’s family as they grieve her father’s passing. Pray that God would provide for her and her family during this season of grieving and uncertainty.
  • Anabelly’s parents and family as they grieve the passing and loss of Anabelly’s sister, age 1.
  • Peace and comfort for Leilson, Leomar, Anna, and Ana as they each grieve the passing of their fathers.
  • God’s hope would fill Pastor Viana’s church family as they support and care for him as he undergoes cancer treatment.
  • Wisdom for the pastors and centre staff as they begin to reopen their projects gradually.
  • God’s wisdom and guidance would be with the Compassion National Office staff as they make decisions and implement safety standards to protect and keep the children safe when child development centres and local churches begin to reopen.
  • God would give wisdom and discernment to Brazil’s leaders as they begin to make decisions to reopen and reduce restrictions while keeping people safe and healthy.
  • The people of Brazil would recover from the economic crisis that COVID-19 has caused.
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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