3 ways the Church is helping build self-reliance in Brazil

The Church’s humanitarian efforts in Brazil in January include renovating a cancer institute, helping fund surgeries for people with cleft lips and palates and donating shower chairs

Each humanitarian project The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is involved in has a goal of self-reliance, explained Presiding Bishop Gérald Caussé.

“For us, self-reliance is a principle of salvation. It’s a spiritual principle. Every time we ask the question: ‘How are we helping people help themselves?’” he said in a Church News interview last year.

The Church’s Brazil Area often features humanitarian efforts in the country on its Brazil Self-Reliance (“Autossuficiência Brasil”) Facebook page. Three efforts in January are highlighted below.

Renovating a cancer institute

On Jan. 28, the Church handed off the renovation of the seventh floor of the outpatient clinic and the fire prevention system at the Dr. Arnaldo Vieira de Carvalho Cancer Institute in Vila Buarque, São Paulo. 

Present at the ceremony were Dr. David Vieira da Costa, president of the institute; Dr. Pascoal Marracini, director General of the institute; Dr. João Batista Lopes, administrative director of the institute; Dr. João Maurício, volunteer adviser; Ronaldo Vieira de Carvalho, vice president of the institute advisory board; Katia Moreira, self-sufficiency manager, Francisco Kledeglau, representative of the São Paulo Brazil Perdizes Stake; President David L. Hunt, São Paulo Oeste Mission president.

During the ceremony, the cancer institute — which turns 103 years old in February — recognized the Church for helping achieve its goal of welcoming all who seek help. Kledeglau emphasized the importance of helping others through partnership with the institution.

Operation Smile

In Mossoró, Rio Grande do Norte, from Jan. 16 to 22, the Church helped fund Operação Sorriso (Operation Smile), which provided surgeries for people with cleft lips and palates. The Church sponsored supplies needed for more than 70 surgeries.

Helping Hands volunteers from the Church participated in the screening stages, reception and supporting patients’ families. After screening, selected patients underwent surgery with the volunteers of Operation Smile at Wilson Rosado Hospital.

The Church funded a similar operation in Santarém, Pará, in May 2022 with about 60 patients.

Donating bath chairs

In partnership with the state government of Espírito Santo, the Church helped provide 168 bath chairs to 42 social entities. The delivery happened on Jan. 24.

The initiative is part of the state government’s commitment to strengthening inclusion policies and practices and expanding partnerships.

“The merit of the donation is from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” said Governor Renato Casagrande in a news release. “We’re here providing support and mobilizing entities. A proper bath chair will ensure an improvement in the quality of life for these people. We did a good job on social care last term and we will continue to perfect it in the next four years. We still count on these partnerships, like the Church and the APAEs [Association of Parents and Friends of the Handicapped], to improve the lives of people.”

Paulo Araújo, the Church’s manager of humanitarian aid in Brazil, said: “We seek to make a difference in society through service and love to others. In this way, all society can be strengthened.”

Related Stories
Church makes donations to 46 libraries in Rio de Janeiro
Inside Church Headquarters: A glimpse into the Church’s welfare and humanitarian efforts
Subscribe for free and get daily or weekly updates straight to your inbox
The three things you need to know everyday
Highlights from the last week to keep you informed