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5 donations in Brazil help children, patients and flood survivors

Church members and leaders helped make the donations in several cities

Striving to live the teachings of the Savior Jesus Christ to help others in need, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recently made several donations throughout Brazil.

Church members and leaders delivered equipment for a children’s cancer hospital in Caruaru, playground equipment in Recife, flood relief supplies in São Paulo and wheelchairs in Jundiaí and specialized equipment for children with disabilities in Campinas.

Below are more details about these efforts.

1. Equipment for children’s cancer hospital in Caruaru

Antonio Romão, the president of the Instituto do Câncer Infantil do Agreste (Children’s Cancer Institute of Agreste), center, speaks with Paulo de Araújo, right, Welfare and Self-Reliance manager for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in a room in the hospital in Caruaru, Brazil, March 6, 2023. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Autossuficiência Brasil Facebook page

The Church made a donation of equipment to a children’s cancer institute in Caruaru, in the state of Pernambuco, Brazil. 

The event took place on March 6 at the Instituto do Câncer Infantil do Agreste, or ICIA — which translates to Children’s Cancer Institute of Agreste.

Paulo de Araújo, a Welfare and Self-Reliance manager for the Church in Brazil, said working with health institutions on fighting childhood cancer is important for the Church.

“ICIA is a great organization, and for the Church it is a great joy to have found a trusted institution that has sought to grow and serve the community in the fight against cancer,” Araújo said. 

The donation will be made in stages, reported the Church’s Autossuficiência Brasil Facebook page. The first one stage includes the examination room and equipment for the ICU and sterilization center. The next stage intends to bring more equipment to the surgical unit.

The initiative will facilitate the treatment of patients who need to be moved to both hospitals and other cities. Currently there are 2,000 children registered at the hospital.

Caruaru Brazil Stake President Alexsandro Tabosa Mendes de Oliveira spoke about how members around the world donate humanitarian funds so that the Church can help others. The stake Relief Society president, Mara Salviano, and several missionaries for the Church were also present for the donation and tour of the hospital.

2. Playground equipment in Recife

While in Recife on March 7, Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles helped celebrate a donation from the Church of playground equipment, educational toys, furniture kits and roaming early childhood laboratories. The donations will equip 96 municipal schools in the city.

Elder Andersen was accompanied by his wife, Sister Kathy Andersen, and Elder Joni L. Koch, General Authority Seventy and first counselor in the Brazil Area presidency, and his wife, Sister Michele Koch, as they met with Recife’s mayor.

As reported previously in the Church News, Elder Andersen told the mayor and the press, quoting Luke 18:16, “Jesus loves the children. ... Jesus said, ‘Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not.’”

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Elder Andersen also wrote on Facebook: “It was a joy to be with the mayor of Recife and to see the happiness on the faces of these young children—many who don’t have a lot. We are so thankful for all of you who give generously to bless the lives of God’s children across the globe. Thank you for your generosity.”

The equipment will help teachers improve childhood development through creative, playful and innovative settings, explained an Autossuficiência Brasil post.

3. Donations for flood survivors in São Paulo

On March 8, while Elder Andersen was in Brazil, he and the area presidency went to Palácio dos Bandeirantes, the São Paulo state hall, to meet with Gov. Tarcísio de Freitas and his wife, Cristiane Ferreira da Silva Freitas.

There they spoke of the donations of money, supplies and labor that the Church is making help victims of recent flooding and landslides in the northern part of the state that killed dozens and left many homeless.

Helping Hands volunteers sort donations of clothing and bedding to send to flood survivors in the north coast of São Paulo, Brazil, on Feb. 27, 2023. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Elder Andersen spoke of the Savior and His teachings of helping others — particularly the poor, the hungry, the needy and the children.

In addition to the first shipment of relief supplies at the end of February, the Church has sent more mattresses, bedding, soap, shampoo, toiletries, cleaning materials and more to the north coast of São Paulo.

Members of the Church have also been mobilizing and helping get the supplies to those in need. The weekend of Feb. 27, more volunteers delivered hundreds of donations in the area.

4. Wheelchairs in Jundiaí

On March 3, a Autossuficiência Brasil Facebook post marked a donation from the Church of 28 wheelchairs in Jundiaí, in the state of São Paulo.

The Church worked with Assisting Persons with Disabilities Core and the Jundiaí Cooperation Network to get the wheelchairs to people with various mobility needs. The project made it possible to eliminate the wait many of the people had to get a wheelchair.

The Church has long been involved in making wheelchair donations in order to help those in need achieve greater independence, more mobility, and return to society and the workforce.

5. Pediasuits in Campinas

Children with various disabilities will now be able to improve their motor development through the donation of specialized equipment called a pediasuit.

On March 7, an event was held marking the Church’s donation to the Federation of Associação de Pais e Amigos dos Excepcionais of the State of São Paulo, which supports those with disabilities and is known as FEAPAES-SP. Elder Adilson de Paula Parrella, General Authority Seventy and president of the Brazil Area, was joined by his second counselor, Elder Juan A. Uceda, also a General Authority Seventy, at the ceremony. Federation leaders, employees, beneficiaries and relatives also attended.

A notice about the donation on the group’s website said children not just in Campinas but throughout the region will benefit from the new equipment — and that the Church “is once again demonstrating its commitment to inclusivity and accessibility.”

The Church also provided instruction for professionals on how to use the pediasuit along with physical therapy to restore correct postural alignment and weight distribution to allow for increasing muscle tone in the patients.

Elder Parrella explained that the donation comes from the contributions of Church members in Brazil and around the world.

“For the Church of Jesus Christ it is a joy to participate in this cause. We always want to do good, and we feel that working alongside FEAPAES-SP,” he said.

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