A brighter future in Brazil for families living in poverty
Tucked away on the far southern edge of Brazil, a Salvation Army centre is helping combat the struggles of poverty and hunger for many families.
In this under-served community stands a ray of hope – the Pelotas Integration Center – a place where children and families can gather to receive love and care, a good meal and the opportunity for a brighter future.
Stretching across nearly 15 acres of land, the community centre provides several services for families and young people in need, including meals for children before, during and after school. The program participants, comprising 80 regularly enrolled children, experience a nurturing and inclusive environment, and the program continues to touch the lives of more than 320 indirect beneficiaries and family members.
Activities at the centre include sports and leisure, media and technology, arts and culture and group dynamics. As children engage in these activities, they gain valuable life skills such as emotional intelligence and effective communication. The nurturing environment plays a crucial role in fostering relationships within families, groups, and the community.
The waiting list for this centre is long. To help address the need in the community, The Salvation Army established a thrift store on the property several years ago.
The Salvation Army World Service Office provided a truck, enabling the centre to pick up larger items for sale and deliver purchased items to customers. This increased the store’s profit margin by 50 per cent.
Due to this success, they expanded their impact further by converting an unused corps building in town into a second thrift store location to generate income for the centre.
The funds generated by both thrift stores directly contribute to supporting the centre’s operational expenses and enabling more children to be enrolled in the program. With each purchase made at these stores, the lives of the children are transformed.
The ripple effect of their efforts reaches beyond the immediate community, empowering children to break free from the cycle of poverty and grasp a brighter future.