"SulReal" Campaign Mobilizes 9,000 Students in Northeastern Brazil

[Photo: Acervo Educação UNeB]

South American Division

"SulReal" Campaign Mobilizes 9,000 Students in Northeastern Brazil

Solidarity awareness movement promotes mass donation collection to help flood victims in Rio Grande do Sul.

News | Brazil | Rebbeca Ricarte, with ANN Staff

With a supportive attitude and a lot of creativity, students from part of northeastern Brazil have mobilized to help flood victims in Rio Grande do Sul. The "SulReal" campaign is promoted by the Adventist educational network. The campaign's title highlights the current situation taking place in Rio Grande do Sul and states that through donations of at least one Brazilian real, it is possible to contribute to helping those who need it most. Students across the 14 education units in the region began to take part in mobilizations to impact families and communities affected.   

In Recife, the capital of Pernambuco, a state in Brazil, 50 high school students held a Flash Mob at traffic lights. The performance featured a boat in the middle of the street which students used to contextualize the despair of people who lost everything in recent floods. Through an attitude of solidarity, the scenario changed. Signs indicating support for the cause aroused the population's interest in helping with the minimum amount proposed by the students.

According to the institution's director, Marcelo Matos, the distance from Recife to the focus of the crisis is not an obstacle for students to get involved in the project: "It's about 4,000 kilometers from here to there, but even so, they understood that can help. All this money will be used to purchase food, clothes, cleaning materials, etc."

In Belo Jardim, in the countryside of Pernambuco, students smeared clay on their arms and faces, and armed with posters, carried out a solidarity awareness movement in the city's main square. In Caruaru, the movement was similar and had the help of the school marching band. The matter caught the attention of the local media, and the campaign was one of the highlights of the ABTV1 newspaper. 

In Natal, a city in Brazil, the scene of the mobilization was Morro do Careca, one of the main tourist attractions in the capital of Rio Grande do Norte. The students made posters and contacted residents and tourists on the waterfront. In Maceió, teenagers took to the streets in the upper part of the city and stopped traffic armed with banners, posters, and requests for help. Giant 1 real coins caught the attention of anyone passing by on the street. In classrooms, students were encouraged to record short videos to share with family members. "Everyone can do their part, from children to grandparents. One dollar is the minimum. Most of us can help with much more than that", emphasizes the unit's manager, Leilson Albuquerque.

Students from Recife approached drivers to warn about the importance of the donation
Students from Recife approached drivers to warn about the importance of the donation

Mission Agency

The project within schools was led by Mission Agencies. Throughout the year, work was developed with students extracurricularly and with the support of parents, enabling students to get involved in social and spiritual campaigns to meet demands from within and outside the school walls. "We had two main objectives with this campaign. The first was the exercise of solidarity itself, as Rio Grande do Sul needs our help. The second was that our students, in practice, could help others, learning to do this, which ends up becoming a lifestyle!" emphasized Pastor Henilson Erthal, the region's director of Adventist Education.

Destination of Donations  

The total collected on Pix by the students will be directed to ADRA, which is on the ground working directly with the victims in Rio Grande do Sul. The agency has a solidarity truck traveling to families in the most affected regions. Every day, 1,500 hot meals are prepared in the adapted truck. The trailer also has a laundry room, which has the capacity to wash and dry 105 kilos of clothes per shift. 

The amount raised by the campaign will also be used to generate vouchers worth approximately 500 reals. These cards will be distributed to families that have been previously registered by ADRA in the region in recent days. The amount should help residents purchase food, water, personal hygiene, and cleaning items.

The original article was published on the South American Division's Portuguese website.