Thanks to Compassion Australia for this update on Brazil:
Powdery white-sand beaches lined with palm trees stretch for more than 7000km along the coastline of this enchanting South American destination. The country is synonymous with soccer and joyful parties, but rapid growth in the urban population of Brazil has created serious social, environmental and political problems, with some 20 million people living in slums and on the streets.
“…the contrast between rich and poor is marked.”
Children living on the streets are subject to drug abuse, prostitution and violence. As a result of extreme poverty, child prostitution is on the rise, particularly in areas frequented by foreign tourists such as Rio de Janeiro, Recife and Fortaleza. In rural areas, problems of a different nature abound. There are 12 million children living in the most impoverished semi-arid regions of Brazil, and the contrast between rich and poor is marked. In these regions, literacy, infant mortality and water facilities are far worse than the national average. Only 37 per cent of people enjoy access to adequate sanitation facilities, compared to 84 per cent in the cities.
Brazil is the second largest consumer of cocaine in the world and an important trans-shipment country for Bolivian, Colombian and Peruvian cocaine headed for Europe. Brazil’s increasing role in the international drug trafficking scene has seen a corresponding upsurge in drug-related violence and weapons smuggling.
“Compassion assists more than 29,000 children…”
Thank you for your prayers for Compassion’s ministry in Brazil. Compassion International began working in Brazil in 1987 and now assists more than 29,000 children through around 149 child development centres; Compassion Australia assists more than 2600 of these children. Compassion’s Leadership Development Program and various Complementary Interventions also operate in Brazil. Currently 95 Brazilian students are enrolled in the Leadership Development Program which empowers youth to become confident, Christian leaders. We are reaching out to Brazilian children, helping provide them with the opportunity to rise above their circumstances and truly be released from poverty in Jesus’ name.
- Praise God for the work of Compassion Brazil. Thank God that thousands of children around the country are being given the opportunity to learn about Jesus and His great love for them.
- Please pray against violence and gangs in Brazil, and for the protection of Brazilian children from violent conflict in their homes, schools and communities.
- Please pray for those people who are forced to live on the streets in Brazil. Pray for their protection and for their increased access to medical care, education, safe drinking water and basic health services.
- Please pray for children who are living on the streets and at risk of being subject to prostitution. Pray for their protection against such crimes.
- Pray that Compassion Brazil will continue to be empowered and resourced to respond quickly in the case of any natural disasters, providing disaster funding where needed and practical and loving care for children and their families.
Firstly, pray for these things above, then find out more about the awesome work of Compassion – visit www.compassion.com.au and make a difference in a child’s future!
Photos: Compassion International
Contents: Compassion’s Supporter Communications Team
Sources: Lonely Planet (2011), http://www.lonelyplanet.com/brazil; UNICEF State of the World’s Children (2009), http://www.unicef.org/rightsite/sowc/pdfs/statistics/SOWC_Spec_Ed_CRC_Statistical_Tables_EN_111809.pdf .