For hundreds of residents of Bacabal in northeastern Brazil, the challenges of quarantine became even more difficult when they were left homeless after the river that cuts through the city overflowed its banks.
With nowhere to go, families had to move to government shelters and now share space with dozens of other families. Since then, the Compassion-assisted Bom Samaritano Child Development Center has had the challenge of helping families affected by the flooding while also helping them protect themselves against COVID-19.
"We have opened our doors to house some families,” says Josefa, director of the center. “We're trying to do everything we can to help them in this difficult time."
The center has also been working with the local government and health professionals to help educate families on disease prevention and control. They are distributing personal hygiene items, including toilet paper, soap and hand sanitizer.
"River water flooded our home, and now I am living with my aunt,” says 7-year-old Vitoria, who attends the center. “The project helped my family with food and soap, and I am happy. I wish I could play in the river, but my grandma says it's not safe."
As the river recedes, the center staff remains committed to help the families repair and return to their homes as quickly and as safely as possible.