Our work in Brazil
A refuge from the hardships of poverty
About the size of the continental United States, Brazil boasts modern cities, a 4,000-mile coastline and the world's largest rain forest — the Amazon. The country is known for its colorful pageantry of Carnival, lively samba and beautiful beaches.
CFCA's Hope for a Family sponsorship program in Brazil reaches out to children, youth and the elderly through projects in Cipauba and Mineiros.
Although the assistance through each project addresses different needs — Cipauba is a rural environment and Mineiros is urban — both offer resources and support to help families on the path toward self-reliance, and to give the elderly hope.
Brazil's projects focus on education and building leadership among families. CFCA provides sponsored children with school uniforms and shoes, school supplies and clothing, reflecting the projects' emphasis on education. Many of the sponsored elderly live in a safe home with access to nutrition and health care.
Community school is an oasis of learning
The Hope for a Family program in Cipauba offers sponsored children from preschool through seventh grade the opportunity for a high-quality education with family outreach.
Were it not for the community São Gabriel (St. Gabriel) School, students would have to travel nearly 10 miles to the closest public school.
The families who benefit from the São Gabriel School outreach are subsistence farmers who barely earn enough to cover basic necessities.
Parents of São Gabriel students attend parent-teacher meetings and learn how to support their children's education at home.
Mothers become leaders in their community
The Hope for a Family program in Mineiros encourages mothers of sponsored children to work together to address issues of poverty. CFCA projects help organize mothers into small groups and build leadership among the members.
As the groups form, the mothers are empowered by their new leadership roles. The mothers groups perform many tasks to assist the project staff in carrying out the sponsorship program. The mothers organize activities and help children and elderly write letters to sponsors. Mothers groups also offer tutoring for the sponsored children.
While some tutor, others create. In Brazil, a mothers group in the Mineiros project generates income from making and selling handicrafts. The mothers make and sell decorated flip-flops, painted dishtowels, and some crocheted and embroidered items. The additional income helps them support their families and grow their businesses.
Companionship and care for the elderly
For aging members of the Mineiros project who find themselves without family or income, the Hope for a Family sponsorship program is a true lifeline.
Mineiros staff members offer a smile and outstretched hand to the sponsored elderly who live at the Good Shepherd nursing home.
They read letters and help correspond to the elderly members' sponsors. Staff members also organize Christmas and birthday parties and deliver needed medicine.
For elderly members still at home, regular visits from a CFCA staff member provide opportunities for companionship to counteract feelings of loneliness and deliver food baskets, medicine and personal hygiene items.
Thanks to Hope for a Family outreach and their sponsors' support, the elderly receive the respect and comfort they deserve at this stage of their lives.