As well as guaranteeing the right to food, the project “Popular Education in Times of Pandemic” promotes training and awareness-raising activities for peripheral communities in Maceió (AL)
The pandemic global disaster has redirected CESE’s vision and activities to support emergency and humanitarian projects in order to combat the advance of the coronavirus. Prioritizing initiatives from populations that face social, economic and racial inequalities, and who live in constant vulnerability, the organization has established a partnership with the Alegria Baptist Church in Maceió (Alagoas) to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on the Grota da Alegria community.
The Alegria Baptist Church (Affiliated to the Baptist Church of Pinheiro and the Alliance of Baptists of Brazil) carries out missionary and social work in the urban districts of Maceió and, since 2012, has worked in the Grota da Alegria community, located in Benedito Bentes II, a peripheral neighbourhood that has been neglected by the public authorities for more than 40 years. There are 14 thousand residents facing deficits in the public health, transport, education, income and employment generation systems and a high level of violence, principally aimed at women and black youth, providing evidence of the structural fragilities of class, gender and race that have been exacerbated by the health crisis.
Through the match funding methodology, the project “Popular Education in Times of Pandemic” distributed food in staple food baskets and hygiene materials; organized the community to consider the lives of those in social vulnerability following the pandemic; discussed collective/cooperative trends for work and income generation with women and young people from the community; and strengthened liberation spirituality to encourage the community to continue organizing and fighting to guarantee their rights.
“CESE, a significant partner, has recognized and promoted human rights as a basic condition of existence for every citizen in this country and within these rights it has worked to secure food and health for many families. We are grateful to CESE for its support at this time of pandemic and social distancing”, declared Pastor Vando Oliveira from the Alegria Baptist Church.
Fifty staple food baskets and 50 hygiene kits (hand sanitizer and masks) were distributed to the families registered on the project. Moreover, virtual meetings were organized, with conversations and talks aimed at raising the awareness of people in the community about their basic rights. In the project activities report, Pastor Vando added: “We also encouraged people to join virtual work and income generation courses, despite difficulties in accessing the internet and weak connections. Some people were able to set up micro-enterprises: selling sweet and savouries, selling handicrafts, etc.”
Match Funding Methodology
During the pandemic, CESE has made funding available through the Change the Game Programme, to support social movements’ and partner organizations’ emergency activities to confront the impact of SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19. Through this support, CESE encourages groups to raise half of the funds needed to run their project and then doubles the amount raised.
As well as receiving a donation, the Alegria Baptist Church ran two fundraising activities: a bicycle raffle and an online crowdfunding drive using virtual platforms to raise the funds. The organization raised a total of BRL 3,000.00
For the project “Popular Education in Times of Pandemic”, CESE then doubled the amount to BRL 6,000.00