Month to month, the updates from Brazil are endlessly changing. Keeping track of a virus in flux is hard enough, but doing so when Brazil is so volatile is immensely challenging.
The numbers are increasing daily. Brazil currently has over 65,000 deaths, with the peak still not in reach. President Jair Bolsonaro, the man who has accused the ‘little flu’ of being a ‘world hoax’, has been tested for a third time this week, after suffering from many of the symptoms. As the illness spreads from the body politic to the bodies in politics, the lifted lockdown and lack of medical infrastructure against COVID-19 are truly taking its toll.
In the Amazon, the indigenous people are suffering disproportionately from COVID 19, where respiratory illnesses are already the highest killer in their communities. They are also facing the challenge of rising wildfires that are up 20% from last year. It has become harder to monitor arson in the area due to the lockdown, and the dry season is looking increasingly dangerous in the backdrop of the destruction witnessed last year.
Our recent work has been entirely focussed on helping the favela communities through the pandemic. We at ACE Projects continue to try to provide food and basic sanitation through delivering care packages to families. We have now delivered over 325 food kits, ‘cestas basicas’, that provide a family with food and sanitizer for a month. We have served over 1,300 people in 8 favelas around the city.
As the infection rate soars, food and financial resources are scarce, and we must keep supporting the communities so badly damaged by the virus. Our projects are beginning to re-start, but some have continued through the lockdown.
We have been hosting online breakdancing classes for the kids to keep practicing. Staying at home and isolating has a positive impact on the pandemic, but affects us negatively; physically, and mentally. It has been so important to get our kids dancing, and feeling like they continue to expand and change their horizons, even if the home around them remains the same.
We have been running online advice from our resident Art Therapist “Fabio”. He has been encouraging the kids to keep to a routine, do a little studying each day, enjoy time with their families, and keep dancing! Now more than ever, we must be aware of our mental health and try to keep positive and proactive.
We are delighted to announce Pamella Lessa as our new Director on the ground in Rio. She brings with her a wealth of experience. Growing up in Rio de Janeiro, she graduated from the State University of Rio de Janeiro before working as a technician in the Brazilian Navy. She progressed to working for several multinationals, before working in the non-profit sector. Her technical knowledge and enormous experience will make a huge impact on the way ACE Projects functions, and her own social collective (Pretas Ruas) that helps black women on the streets of Brazil will bring a new angle to the work we do. She has always fought to empower people to improve the society they are a part of, and we are delighted she has become a part of ours.
As always, we thank you for your continued support and love. We are an international community, and each of you contributes to the favela communities.
We hope you are safe and well,
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