In recent months, several humanitarian aid projects have been carried out by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints throughout Brazil, helping members and non-members in need.
The donations, made in partnership with several non-profit organizations, as well as city, state, and federal governments, have assisted thousands of people in education and health, as well as those affected by natural disasters.
Read below a summary of some of the projects carried out by the Church throughout the country.
Donation to the Neonatal ICU
In São Luís, state of Maranhão, the Hospital of the Federal University of Maranhão (HU-UFMA) received a donation to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in June. More than 382 items were donated over the past year, including incubators, phototherapy equipment and ventilators.
It’s estimated that about 40,000 babies and family members will benefit from this donation over the next 10 years.
Neonatal Resuscitation Course
The partnership between the Church of Jesus Christ and the Brazilian Society of Pediatrics aims to improve neonatal medical care in different regions of Brazil through the training of health professionals and the donation of essential materials.
The “Helping Babies Breathe” course aims to prepare professionals in case of breathing difficulties and emergencies. The activity usually takes place in the Church chapels. Two of those events happened in June and September.
- In June, the Neonatal Resuscitation course happened in Goiânia, state of Goiás. Health professionals, midwives, nurses, nursing technicians, and doctors participated in the event.
- Members of the Church of Jesus Christ, wearing their distinctive Helping Hands vests, participated in September in delivering hospital materials and supplies for neonatal resuscitation to the Zacarias Junior Hospital, located in Lagarto, state of Sergipe.
Education in an inspiring environment
The Church of Jesus Christ donated in June 2023, to the Marista Escolas Sociais, located in Ponta Grossa, state of Paraná, a series of essential resources, such as advanced microscopes, equipped benches, updated periodic tables and a complete system of the human body (a manikin).
The institution, which aims to strengthen the education and scientific initiation of its students, will also receive notebook computers and tablet computers to assist in research. The library will have furniture, books, and musical instruments, promoting an inspiring and inviting environment.
Reliable transportation and support for young people with cancer
CAJEC (Casa José Eduardo Cavichio) is a non-profit philanthropic institution in Taboão da Serra, state of São Paulo. It provides support to families in need whose children and teenagers have cancer or need transplants, so they can receive treatment in hospitals in the city of São Paulo. The beneficiaries come from all over Brazil and some Latin American countries.
In May 2023, the Church of Jesus Christ donated a Sprinter van, which aims to provide reliable transportation to patients and families, as well as caregivers, to medical appointments held in the São Paulo metropolitan area. It is expected that in the first year, about 1,300 patients and families will benefit from that resource.
Last June, the Church of Jesus Christ made a donation to the Social Development Secretariat of Santos, São Paulo. The gift included renovating the multipurpose room that serves all projects sponsored by the Department, expansion of the barbershop, equipment for implementing IT courses, a bakery workshop, and kits for the beauty salon. The improvements will increase the number of residents with access to training and personal development opportunities, resulting in better jobs and self-reliance.
The Florescer Institute, located in Paraisópolis, São Paulo, seeks to unite people through community actions, partially addressing the lack of social interaction, especially among children and young people. The organization provides ballet, tutoring, and music and arts courses for children ages 4 to 14. The Institute also offers a jeans recycling project, which serves mothers of children enrolled at the institution.
In July, the Institute received a donation from the Church of Jesus Christ to help renovate its facilities and build a parking lot, including labor and necessary materials.
Extratropical cyclones in Rio Grande do Sul
From June to September, the state of Rio Grande do Sul was hit by several extratropical cyclones, resulting in destruction, floods, and thousands of homeless people.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sent emergency aid and gathered volunteers in several cities across the state to alleviate the suffering of their residents. Below are some affected towns and the help they received from the Church. Other donations were sent to different regions of the state.
- In June, shortly after the passage of a cyclone, The Church of Jesus Christ sent emergency aid to the cities of Osório and Gravataí, which included essential items for the basic needs of thousands of homeless families, basic food baskets, mattresses, hygiene kits, and cleaning kits.
- On July 12, an extratropical cyclone hit the city of Vera Cruz with winds of more than 50 miles per hour, heavy rain and hail. The damage affected around 4,000 families, damaging the roofs of more than 500 homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods.
The Church donated roof tiles to help the families whose homes were damaged by the strong winds. The Department of Social Development received the material, which was distributed free of charge by the municipality’s Social Action Center.
- In August, the city of São Leopoldo and others in the region faced a critical situation due to flooding caused by an extratropical cyclone. The community was isolated, and many families lost everything they had. With the support of volunteers, the Church donated food baskets, blankets, mattresses, gallons of water, school kits, hygiene kits and cleaning kits to help families affected by the tragedy.
- In September, the stakes of Porto Alegre South, Porto Alegre Brazil, Moinhos de Vento and Viamão, and the São Jerônimo District, along with other partner organizations such as BYU Management Society of Porto Alegre, IESA Fiat, Lions Club of Charqueadas, came together in the “Helping Hands the Jacuí Valley” project in São Jerônimo, Rio Grande do Sul. Through this initiative, items collected helped more than 2,000 families.
Essential items for the elderly
The São Vicente de Paulo nursing home, located in Santa Bárbara d’Oeste, São Paulo, provides various services to the elderly population in the region, including social assistance, health care, nutrition, and social programs that cover culture, leisure, entertainment and coexistence.
However, over time, several essential items needed to be replaced and updated. Seeking to meet some of the most immediate needs, in August, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced the donation of several items, including sheets, pillowcases, towels, laundry and supply carts, wheelchairs, shower chairs, mattresses, furniture, utensils and kitchenware.
Donations to more than 1,200 students
The Mandaver Institute, seeking to turn the Vergel do Lago neighborhood in Maceió, Alagoas, into an innovative and entrepreneurial space in the state, has achieved notable results in changing the lives of children and young people in the region. The Institute also aims to make a continuous social impact, fighting illiteracy and inequalities in a place where crime and violence are frequent.
The Church of Jesus Christ, in partnership with other institutions, donated to the Institute’s library tables, chairs and shelves, books, air conditioning equipment, notebooks, and the construction of a soccer field. In the first year, the donation could benefit more than 1,200 students.
Helping 1,600 children and teenagers
The Bairro da Juventude (Youth neighborhood) in Criciúma, Santa Catarina, has offered opportunities in education, culture, sport, social assistance, professionalization, and integration into the job market. To meet the growing demand, the CLIC Project (Playful Center for Innovation and Creativity) was launched, which benefits 1,600 children and adolescents in vulnerable situations.
Last September, following an announcement made on July 28, a ceremony was held to deliver items donated by the Church of Jesus Christ to the Bairro da Juventude. Among the donations were tables, chairs, cabinets, niches, and boards, thus improving educational activities and services for the youth.
Partnerships to fight hunger
On September 14th, the official ceremony of the humanitarian project to fight hunger by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was held in partnership with the Federal Government, the Ministry of Social Development, and SESC (Social Service of Commerce). The project involved donating 30,000 basic food baskets to needy people in several Brazilian states, including victims of the extratropical cyclone in Rio Grande do Sul.
Rosângela “Janja” Lula da Silva, first lady of the country, Wellington Dias, Minister of Social Development, and other government authorities were present at the ceremony. Representing The Church of Jesus Christ were Elder Joni L. Koch, General Authority Seventy and president of the Church’s Brazil Area, and Paulo de Araújo, manager of the Department of Welfare and Self-Reliance in Brazil.
National Day of the Deaf
On the last weekend of September, the Helping Hands project of the Ipatinga Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Minas Gerais, in partnership with ASIPA (Association of the Deaf of Ipatinga), celebrated the National Day of the Deaf, seeking to promote awareness and inclusion of people with hearing impairment.
The activity included inspiring talks, and participants shared stories of overcoming obstacles despite their hearing impairment. In an interview with MGTV (Globo Network), stake president Bruno Lima said this year, the Helping Hands program in Brazil focuses on all types of physical disabilities. Activities like these are being organized across the country.