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Solidarity in the Soul

Tenderness of the people

By Rosana Dias Lancsarics | Published December 2020

The global threat of the pandemic brought insecurity and suffering to the world. In Brazil, Covid-19, has served as a catalyst revealing the strength and unity of its people. Initiatives developed by companies, organizations and even ordinary citizens have demonstrated the solidary soul of the Brazilian people.

"During this pandemic, Brazil has shown great strength and solidarity with its numerous actions and campaigns which help the most vulnerable in our society," said the president of the Institute for the Development of Social Investment (IDIS), Paula Fabiani. IDIS is part of the Latin America of Charities Aid Foundation (CAF).

The CAF is responsible for the worldwide survey, CFA World Giving Index. The most recent survey was carried out in 2017, and published in 2018. It surveyed the behaviors of 146 countries, taking into account various factors such as financial donations, volunteering time and helping a stranger.

The Brazilian Homeland in a World of Solidarity

Brazil was ranked 122nd out of the 146 countries surveyed, with Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, USA and Ireland listed as the top five contributors.

This will no doubt change as according to the COVID-19 Donating Monitoring survey conducted by the Brazilian Association of Fund Raisers (Associação Brasileira de Coletores de Recursos, ABCR), the funds donated have already exceeded Cad $1.5 million and have benefited almost 500,000 recipients.

There are however, many more acts of solidarity that have not been taken into account and do not appear in the official statistics. This is the case of the Central Única das Favelas (CUFA), a non-governmental institution created in 1999 which oversees the solidarity initiatives in the states of Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais, Espírito Santo, Piauí and São Paulo.

Donations accepted by CUFA range from food baskets, money and even toys. According to data from CUFA-MG, there are 13.6 million Brazilians living in impoverished communities.

Slums without Hunger

In an interview with the Belo Horizonte newspaper " O Tempo", the president of CUFA, Francis Santos, who is from Minas Gerais, said that he never went hungry because " in the slums there is the tradition of a neighbour knocking on your door with what little he has.”

Santos, during the interview also spoke about the unity and solidarity that exists among the slums’ residents. "Those who have less, understand the importance of donating because they have already experienced similar situations. It is more important to give food, water or clothing to another person than to themselves.”

CUFA located in Minas Gerais, was recognized as one of the communities to have received the most technological support from Claro, a Brazilian internet and telephone company. It has provided several digital access channels for citizens where informational videos about Covid-19 can be accessed, along with various health and education applications.

A Breath for Business

Social media has also become a powerful tool for solidarity. Tailor Pedroso, 90, and plant nursery owner, Nelson Simeão, 83, know this well. The two “ Paulistas became famous during the most critical phase of the pandemic.

Neighbours posted on social media about the difficulty that Pedroso and Simeão were experiencing while running their small businesses practically behind closed doors. Their actions resulted in an avalanche of new clients and donations to these challenged shop owners.

Further information available at:

Institute for the Development of Social Investment (IDIS)

Charities Aid Foundation (CAF)

Brazilian Association of Fund Raisers (Associação Brasileira de Captadores de Recursos, ABCR)

Donations Monitor

Central Única das Favelas (CUFA)


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