In the mountainous region of Palhoca, Santa Catarina, Brazil lies the community of Brejaru where most residents work in wastes recycling. One of the residents, Clarice, who has been working in waste management since 2007, shared:
“Nessa pandemia toda que teve, o único setor assim que não parou, foi a reciclagem, todo mundo em casa, produziram bem mais, o pessoal fala ‘lixo.’”
(In this whole pandemic, the only sector that didn’t stop is recycling. Everyone at home produced much of what people refer to as ‘garbage’.)
Being the sole breadwinner of the family, which includes her bed-ridden father-in-law, the income she earns from recycling is just enough to keep their heads above the water.
“O meu sogro ficou doente, meu marido não pode mais trabalhar, é daqui que nós estamos se virando por enquanto. É bem puxado, não é fácil, mas a gente tenta o dia a dia da gente.”
(My father-in-law got sick, my husband couldn’t work anymore — this is how we’re getting by for now. It’s very tough, it’s not easy, but we try to live day to day.”)
“Uma coisa muito boa para população principalmente nessa pandemia ta ajudando bastante e que Deus abençoe a vocês todos que estavam compartilhando ajudando tá todo mundo feliz alegre e eu não esperava uma benção tão grande quanto essa né, inclusivamente minha filhinha tá aqui já tá com um brinquedo,” says Cleo, one of the beneficiaries of the MCGI Free Store in Brejaru.
(This is really good for everyone, especially in this time of pandemic; it is a great help. May God bless you for your generosity. Everybody is happy. I did not expect to receive this huge blessing. Even my daughter is happy because of the toy.)
Aside from the free groceries, MCGI volunteers went back to the village after a few weeks to offer free hearty meals to the residents through the MCGI Feeding Program.
For more information regarding the MCGI Free Store and other charitable works of the Church, please visit www.mcgi.org/public-services.