COVID-19 and Compassion’s Work in Brazil

An in-depth look at the coronavirus pandemic in Brazil

Last Updated: 10/19/2020

Brazil surpassed 5.1 million COVID-19 cases on Oct. 15, and health officials there fear a second wave. The death toll has reached 152,000, the second highest in the world. Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro have been hit hardest. Millions are unemployed, and the government is set to begin reducing payments to informal workers, who earlier received government support. At least four potential vaccines, produced by Western and Chinese firms, are already in trials or will be soon.

While Compassion activities are on hold, local partners are making every effort to provide for the basic needs of beneficiaries, including the delivery of 232,489 food baskets and 179,422 hygiene kits. Additionally, they have provided medical support to 8,948 people. Partner churches are maintaining phone contact with families and providing Bible stories, video lessons and prayers, as well as care for those struggling mentally and emotionally. Some churches have been able to hold small youth group gatherings and worship services with fewer than 30 people attending.

COVID response in Brazil

How is Compassion Currently Operating in Brazil?

Below, you will find the latest information on how Compassion is currently operating in Brazil, including status updates on center openings, letter delivery and gift delivery. This is the most current information we have, though it can change quickly. Please know that all children and their families are being checked in on regularly by staff, either in person or by phone, even if the Compassion center is not open for programming. Watch this video for a detailed explanation of how COVID-19 is affecting Compassion centers and how local partners are caring for each registered child during this season.

Are Compassion Centers Open?

Currently, all centers in Brazil are closed in order to abide by local guidelines. Staff members are working to create virtual programming activity, including videos and livestreams. They continue to call and check in on families, and in some communities they are able to visit children while obeying social distancing guidelines. Because of the generous support of sponsors and donors, they have been able to distribute 232,489 food baskets and 179,422 hygiene kits to children and their families!

COVID response in Brazil

child reading IconStory From the Field

Like many around the world, Fatima and her husband, Costa, believed that COVID-19 would pass soon. But as the months dragged on, they soon realized that this pandemic would have long-term effects on their country, Brazil, and their home.

“COVID-19 came to steal many people's dreams, including mine,” says Fatima, who worked as a hotel maid. She was one of the many in the tourism industry who lost their jobs early in the pandemic. After just two months on the job, Fatima was let go, and her husband was also unemployed.

“The concern with household bills and how we would buy the month's groceries stole my sleep more than any threat from the virus,” says Fatima. “Our routine has completely changed with the pandemic. My children stopped going to school and were stuck at home. I love having my kids around, but they started to get anxious with the lack of freedom.”

Fatima, who didn’t finish high school, struggled to help her children with online school. “Our frustration would have been even tougher had it not been for the care and support of the volunteers at the child development center my children have attended since they were small,” she says. “Even when the center closed its doors due to the pandemic, they did not abandon my children.”

The Compassion partner church-based center delivered meals and groceries to Fatima’s home, as well as hand sanitizer and masks. Fatima says the center also arranged for psychological support for the anxiety that her children were feeling. And now, Fatima has been hired at the center to help clean and prepare for the day when the children will be able to return!

“I still don't know how much longer this pandemic will last, but we can already see the light of better days,” says Fatima. “When all this is over, I will worship God in gratitude for all that he has done in our lives at this time. Despite the hardships I can see his provision and blessing on us.”

How can I pray for Brazil?

Pray for wisdom for the pastors and partner staff as they begin to reopen their centers gradually and prepare for the children to return. For more prayer resources, visit Compassion’s COVID-19 prayer page for prayer guides and a virtual prayer wall.

How Can I Help?

Sponsor a Child in Brazil
Give to Compassion’s COVID-19 Relief Fund
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