"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy" Proverbs 31:8-9

Saturday, 28 May 2011


Brazil is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both in size and population- with over 190 million people. It is the only Portuguese speaking country in South America.

Poverty in Brazil is visually represented by the many favelas (slums) in the cities, and also remote country regions. Crime is a serious problem in Brazil. Common occurrences include homicides, muggings, robberies, kidnappings, gang violence and police brutality and corruption.

Public education is free, but many children do not attend because of malnutrition. Child labour is common, even though it is against the law for children under the age of 16 to work. Many children are forced to work by their parents to contribute to the family income.

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 well below the national average and only 37 per cent of people enjoy access to adequate sanitation facilities, compared to 84 per cent in the cities.

Issues children face in Brazil:
  • Lack of Schools
  • High Infant Mortality
  • Lack of Sanitation Facilities
  • Employment Opportunities
  • Colds / Flus
  • Parasites
  • Respiratory Illnesses
  • Skin diseases
  • Health Care Centres
  • Asthma

Child prostitution in Brazil is a widespread and serious problem. Brazil is considered to have the worst child sex trafficking record after Thailand. Many tourists travel to Brazil for sex tourism, in particular child prostitution.

Below are some examples of what a monetary gift can purchase for your child in Brazil:
$10 and under: beans (1 kg), bread, coffee (500 g), meat, oil (900 ml), rice (5 kg), sugar (1 kg)
$15 and under: ball, book, clothes (jacket, jeans, pants, shirts, etc.), shoes, toy
$40 and under: blanket (single and full size), dolls, lamp

Below are some examples of what a monetary gift can purchase for your child's family in Brazil:
$100 and under: tools, bicycle
$150 and under: mattress (single size)
$250 and under: mattress (double size)

Compassion International began working in Brazil in 1987. Over 29,000 children participate in around 149 child development centres and Compassion Australia assists over 2600 of these children. Compassion's Leadership Development Program and various Complementary Interventions also operate in Brazil. Currently 59 Brazilian students are enrolled in the Leadership Development Program.

To sponsor a child in Brazil click here