Rural and Indigenous Communities Receive Donations During Easter

Rural and Indigenous Communities Receive Donations During Easter

In villages and communities located in the tourist region of Porto Seguro, Bahia, known as the Costa do Descobrimento, indigenous tribes and rural communities were severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Part of the local handicraft is made by the indigenous communities of Porto Seguro and Santa Cruz Cabrália, which include at least 14 local tribes and about 9,000 Indians, according to data from the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE). With the arrival of the pandemic and travel restrictions, tourism in the region decreased, and the scenario that was seen was families with a compromised livelihood.

The Adventist Church in the locality mobilized an action to collect food as part of the Easter Mutirão campaign, and this year, it had a partnership with educational and humanitarian institutions linked to the church and focused on the southern regions of Bahia, with a distribution of basic food baskets to economically vulnerable families. Through the initiative, 72 families were benefited in the villages of Mirapé, Juerana, Nova Coroa, Novos Guerreiros, Agriculture, Arueira, and Aldeia Velha.

According to Gabriela Carvalho, who coordinated the collection and distribution of basic food baskets for families in this region, the reality of these people is part of the statistics of families affected by unemployment in the pandemic. “During the pandemic, it is difficult for the indigenous community to work, as many of them produce and depend on art for their livelihood. They live off crafts. As hunting is prohibited, so they are living on aid—donations. Some are retired and have kept their families with this”, she explains.

Gabriela says that when delivering the baskets, they received thanks for the gesture. “It was very important for our Pataxó people to receive this help. We appreciate the work that the church does with us. We are very grateful,” says Goyspã, which, in his tribe’s language, means “companion.”

The experience of coordinating the action motivated Gabriela to continue doing more for needy communities. “I didn’t even have to be involved in actions aimed at indigenous tribes, but now I see the need to contribute even more to these people. The church acted at the right time. I will not forget every smile,” she says.

For pastor Davi França, executive secretary of the Seventh-day Adventist Church for the States of Bahia and Sergipe, this initiative is part of a work developed in the region with the tribes and came to add even more in the current moment of crisis. “The church has joined the efforts of brothers, leaders, pastors, and institutions to bring a little food to these tribes. We are demonstrating that the gospel is not just spiritual; it has to do with people’s daily lives; it has to transform people’s lives. And we see that some are being transformed by helping, and others will be transformed by receiving help. We are happy to be able to participate and we understand that the church is thus fulfilling the social role of alleviating people’s suffering”, França emphasizes.

This article was originally published on the South American Division’s Portuguese news site


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