J oining forces in the fight against the spread of the coronavirus, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency in Brazil  (ADRA)  installed public “solidarity sinks” May  19, in the São José neighborhood, in Recife, Brazil’s fourth-largest city. The action is a protective measure for people on the street and takes into account the risk of contamination and the importance of hygiene for the whole society.

Aware of the need, volunteers came together to buy, assemble, and distribute handwashing hygiene stations so that this group in a vulnerable situation can be less exposed to the contagion.

ADRA, in partnership with the Municipality of Recife, will install seven sinks in strategic districts of the municipality that concentrate a large number of homeless people. The sinks, which can be relocated later, contain gallon containers for water and a container with soap. Stations such these have already been implemented in the cities of Natal and Caruaru.

The campaign, entitled SOS COVID-19, was launched in early May and has other work fronts in six states in Brazil’s northeast. The actions emerged as an emergency measure to serve hundreds of families in the most critical economic situation, thus guaranteeing the most basic for that moment, such as food and hygiene.

Through a volunteer team, ADRA collects food which is then distributed to families at risk and performs various other actions, such as making masks and distributing aid cards.

In April alone, more than 19 tons of food items were transformed into basic baskets, lunches, and solidary soup meals taken to different people. The distribution took place in several regions of the state and served hundreds of families.

According to Erinaldo Costa, ADRA director for Pernambuco state, this is more than a work of awareness. “We need to think about those who don't have as much information about the danger of this pandemic. If they already suffer on normal days, imagine now, without guidance, or means to prevent it. These are basic items, but they are expensive at the moment, especially for those who have no income and are at the mercy of solidarity,” Costa said.

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