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  • Beth Adams

News from Rio Grande do Sul

Earlier this month, several board members from Indiana Partners were invited to be part of a virtual board meeting with the Rio Grande do Sul Partners chapter. It was exciting to hear some of their projects and future plans they have in mind. Here are a few of the things happening now.

Food Baskets for a Community Center

One of their main projects (that was briefly mentioned in the last newsletter) is their partnership with a community center called Centro Social Madre Madalena, located in Porto Alegre. An informal group of Partners volunteers started helping out at the center a while back, and through social media, it grew into a larger project with more people wanting to volunteer. As they officially embraced the center to be a recipient for their efforts, their impact was immediately felt in the community. This center mainly provides a food pantry for about 130 families but also does activities for children and the elderly.

These Partners volunteers began putting together food baskets that are designed to last about 15 days. Some families have up to ten people, and the baskets don’t last as long. The cost for these essential food baskets is around $10 USD, which comes out to $2600 per month to help the 130 families who desperately depend on this generosity to survive. To help raise money for these efforts, they have two main plans in place. The first plan of action is to hold a raffle to give away various prizes that can be done safely in these social distancing times. The second plan is to hold online an ESL workshop and charge a nominal fee for teachers to attend. More on these fundraisers and how Indiana Partners plans to help will be announced at a later date!

Partners Music Festival

If you didn’t get a chance to see Gabriela Bastos and Guilherme Rocho perform in the Partners Music Festival on Instagram on Saturday, don’t worry: you still can! Just go to their Instagram page at @poa_festival and click on the icon for Instagram TV to watch the hour-long live concert. (You can see all the other past performances as well!) They did an amazing job performing together, bringing a nice blend of older and newer rock songs. They even did some versions of songs in a different style than the original that really came together well. Kudos to the two of them for all their hard work and talent. You can definitely tell they had fun doing it.

Stay tuned for August when we will be joining in the concerts with our own participating musician, Paulo Castro. He’ll be performing on August 15, so look for more information on that as it comes closer to that time.

Other projects on the horizon

We all may be spending more time at home, but the great thing about Partners members is that we never stop planning ahead. We’re working on some new projects with Legislative Fellows (they just hosted a webinar on July 18 to strategize plans for during and after the pandemic), Youth Ambassadors, and some other ideas on the horizon. Covid may have impacted some of our current projects and programs we had planned for this year, but we’re working hard to adapt and create alternatives and even coming up with new partnerships out of this.

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