Date of publication: 31/08/2023

The President General visits projects sponsored by CIAD in Brazil.

Council General International

These projects aim to give dignity to the homeless

From August 10th to 12th, brother Renato Lima de Oliveira, the 16th President General International, visited two Brazilian cities to learn about the social projects recently sponsored by the Commission for International Aid and Development (ICAD). Both initiatives were launched during the worst moment of the pandemic and nowadays are making a huge difference to the homeless population.

Juiz de Fora

In the city of Juiz de Fora, brother Renato visited the “Solidarity Shower” Project, sponsored by CIAD. There, he was welcomed by the Vice-president of the National Council of Brazil, sister Bete Castro, who explained in detail the services offered in the vehicle (trailer).

In the last three years, the project has achieved the fantastic landmark of 8,500 baths provided. As well as providing hygiene services for the homeless, meals are served and clean clothes are given to them. “This project means much more than a simple shower. It represents granting full dignity to the human being,” commented President Lima de Oliveira.

 President Renato also attended the Eucharist at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Saint Antony, celebrated by Monsignor Gil Antonio Moreira. He also had lunch with the Board of the Metropolitan Council whose president is sister Venina Souza. At the end of these activities, he gave an interview to a Catholic radio station and visited the headquarters of some city’s Central Councils.

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In Barbacena, brother Renato Lima visitedthe “Feeding Hands” Project, sponsored by CIAD, which distributes nightly meals to the homeless. The initiative is run by the Infant Jesus Conference, made up of children and teenagers.

President Renato thanked the young people for their service and presented them with books and the international SSVP flag, which he always uses on his trips. “This flag will be very well taking care of here with you, dear boys and girls. It is my gift to you,” said Renato.

Another highlight of the visit was a ceremony at the Town Hall where President Renato Lima received the “Citizenship Title of Barbacena”, conferred by Councilor Paulinho do Gás, who is also a Vincentian. It was an emotional ceremony, during which the President General gave a speech and thanked everyone for the honor, sharing it with all the city’s SSVP members.

There was also a visit to two Conferences (Saint Ivo and Saint Francis of Assisi), the Frederic Ozanam Elderly Home, the Blessed Isabel Cristina Memorial, the headquarters of the Metropolitan Council (whose president is sister Marcia Heleno), two parishes (Our Lady of Penha and Our Lady of Mercy) and two sports projects, which may also be supported by CIAD in the very near future.

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