Operation Mato Grosso provides 300 food baskets to indigenous Xavante families
(MissionNewswire) Operation Mato Grosso, led by the Salesians, with the help of Italian benefactors, provided 300 baskets of food to the indigenous Xavante families in the villages of Campinápolis, Brazil. Operation Mato Grosso is led by Vanderlei Miranda Souza, a volunteer who has worked with the Xavante people for 20 years.
Souza said, “God never abandons us, especially in this time of crisis, of difficulty, in which so many people are suffering. There are still so many generous people in this world to do good. Donations during the holidays strengthen the work of the Salesians who work all year round among the natives”.
Fr José Alves added: “For us Salesians, having the Operation Mato Grosso group as a partner in this work of service to the Xavante indigenous community is an immense gift from God”.
Today, there are approximately 10,000 Xavante in the region, spread across more than 200 villages. These communities face extreme poverty and receive support and training to cultivate the land. They also receive financial support for the purchase of equipment, fertilizers and seeds.
Hunger is one of the biggest challenges and the situation has only gotten worse during the COVID-19 pandemic. About 500 Aboriginal people are regularly hired by state and municipal governments to work in education. With school suspended to avoid infection, people were out of work and their families faced hunger. There have been several cases of children becoming underweight and malnourished – and even child deaths – due to illnesses made worse by lack of food.
Issues of income inequality and social exclusion remain root causes for those living in poverty in Brazil. Inequalities also exist in access to education and in the effectiveness of education. These inequalities are greater for children and young people who are poor, live in rural areas or have incomplete compulsory education. Salesians working with poor young people and their families in Brazil are developing programs and providing opportunities for young people to deepen their education and skills.
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Salesian Missions – Brazil
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