2024-05-29 BRAZIL

Provincial’s message on the floods in Southern Brazil

Below you can read the latest message from Brother Deivis Alexandre Fischer, Provincial of Brasil Sul-Amazônia, on the devastation caused by the rains that hit southern Brazil, causing much devastation and the death of almost 200 people. You can collaborate through FMSI, the General Administration Foundation, to the campaign to help rebuild the region. All funds raised will go to the Brasil Sul-Amazônia Province. If you prefer, you can send your help directly to the Province, using the information in this link.

Porto Alegre, May 27, 2024

“I ask everyone to accompany this pilgrimage of reconciliation with the world that is our home and to help make it more beautiful, because that commitment has to do with our personal dignity and highest values.” (Pope Francis – Laudate Deum, n. 69).

Dear Marist Family

I am writing to update you on the situation in the state of Rio Grande do Sul after the floods. This week marks one month since the beginning of the rains. In the higher parts of the state, the rivers have receded, leaving a trail of destruction in their wake, and now begins a long process of rebuilding homes, businesses and crops devastated by the force of the currents. In the metropolitan region of Porto Alegre, the water is slowly receding, and we are seeing the beginnings of a clean-up and reoccupation process. However, there are places where recovery is not possible.

Last Thursday, May 23, the rains returned with intensity. Porto Alegre experienced another moment of chaos when other areas were also flooded. This was due to the fact that it had not yet been possible to clear the drains, clogged with mud and garbage. Aggravating factors such as this have delayed the return of people to their homes.

A week ago we resumed activities in the Marist units whose structures had not been affected. However, classes were interrupted again on Friday and continued to be cancelled on Monday and Tuesday due to the forecast and the occurrence of more rain. The schools that served as shelters have been relocating people: some have gone to other accommodations, while others have returned to their homes and/or resettled with relatives.

We continue to host people at the Marist Youth House, at the Association of Parents and Teachers of the Marist College Rosário and at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS). At the same time, we inaugurated a new space in Vila Marista, located in Viamão. In the last few days, we have begun to clean three units that were flooded: Centro Social Marista Ir. Antônio Bortolini, Escola Marista de Educação Infantil Menino Jesus and Colégio Marista São Pedro. We have three others that we have not yet been able to enter to clean them: Centro Social Marista Nossa Senhora Aparecida das Águas, Escola Marista de Educação Infantil Tia Jussara and Escola Marista de Educação Infantil Boa Mãe.

Throughout the State there is a movement of reconstruction and renewal of hope. To make this process possible, a series of policies and measures have been announced at the municipal, state and federal levels. The search for housing for the homeless, the recovery of businesses and new measures to prevent extreme weather events have been on the agenda of our news and social networks.

We move forward with confidence and faith. Amid all that we have experienced, we are trying to heal the wounds to continue moving forward. We want to thank everyone who has sent us messages, prayed and/or contributed resources so that we can help and begin the rebuilding process. May the Good Lord bless you all, and may Mary and St. Marcellin continue to inspire us day by day.

With my fraternal embrace,

Brother Deivis Alexandre Fischer – Provincial of Brasil Sul-Amazônia


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