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Apostolic Movement

Water floods destroy the south of Brazil

By: Sr. M. Claucelei Goulart

Since 27 April, the state has been hit by heavy rainfall and tornadoes. Of the 497 cities in the state, around 450 have already been affected in some way. Some rivers have risen and flooded everything, in others landslides have destroyed homes as a result of the excessive rainfall, leading to the deaths of many people, and still other towns have been devastated by strong storms. Roads have been torn up and bridges washed away. The state’s main river has been more than 5 metres above its normal level for more than a week. Another river reached a level of 30 metres above its normal level and completely devastated the towns. All that remained was destruction. Some cities are already experiencing their third flood in a year, with the current one being incomparably more severe.

Immeasurable losses

Those affected were rescued with only the clothes they were wearing and lost everything: their homes, their furniture, their documents. Parents have lost their children, children have lost their parents. Now they live homeless in emergency shelters and are dependent on the helpfulness of those with a good heart.

Unusual cold

Added to this is the cold: in just a few days, the temperature in some cities has dropped by almost 20°. As many families with children, sick and elderly people are camping outside or seeking shelter under awnings or tarpaulins at the side of the road, the temperatures are very low at between 2° and 7°; there is no heating.

People urgently need help

According to the Civil Defence of the state of Rio Grande do Sul, a total of over 615,000 people have had to leave their homes, of which around 76,800 are in emergency shelters and around 538,500 are staying with friends or relatives. So far, 2,124,203 people have been affected by the tragedy, 806 have been injured, 124 are missing, 148 deaths have been confirmed and a total of 76,483 people have been rescued.

The people of Rio Grande do Sul live in the middle of a huge expanse of water and have no access to drinking water. There is no electricity in many neighbourhoods and/or towns. Hospitals had to be evacuated.

These people need help! They need water, food, building materials, furniture. They need everything they need to build a new life in dignity.

Sisters of Mary distribute relief supplies


The “Corner of the Sun” social centre in Santa Maria, which is run by the Sisters of Mary, has been converted into a distribution point for relief supplies in these days of need. Families in the neighbourhoods hit by the heavy rainfall can receive clothing, hygiene articles and cleaning products, food and water here.

The sisters, together with their staff, volunteers and young professionals, bring the goods to those affected.

How you can help

Donations for those affected can be transferred to the account of the Mission Centre of the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary in Schoenstatt. From there it will be forwarded to an account of the Sisters of Mary in Santa Maria, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. We, the local Sisters, will use the money to buy building materials, food, clothing, medicine and furniture for the families affected by this natural disaster and send it directly to the families.

Thank you very much in advance for your generous help!

Credit card donations

Donation account:
Missionszentrale Vallendar,
Liga Bank eG,
IBAN DE10 7509 0300 0000 0589 20,
Keyword: Flood victims Brazil

Contact via the Mission Centre of the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary:


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