of people from the country’s 3,524 quilombos (afro-brazilian communities) live on less than £1.45 a day


murders occurred in 2016 alone


people live in absolute poverty, on less than £1.45 a day


of women have been subjected to violence in their own homes

About Brazil

Brazil is both rich and poor; it is one of the most unequal countries the world. There is a growing number of people living in poverty as a result of the financial crisis and subsequent economic adjustment, such as cuts in social, education and health funding. The majority of the country's land is controlled by a small number of elite families, who have cut down one-fifth of Brazil's rainforest for economic gain.

Half a million children between the ages of five and 13 are engaged in child labour. Some 64 per cent of these work in agriculture, and earn an average of BRL 178 (roughly GBP 42) per month. Much of their work, however, goes unpaid.

Climate change continues to threaten Brazil’s future, putting food production at risk. By 2030, Brazil could lose 11 million hectares of land suitable for agriculture due to climate change. In many poor areas, communities rely on burning wood to produce 30 per cent of their energy, contributing to a cycle of deforestation.

Meet Serguem, our country representative

How we do it


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Food Security

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Church & Community Transformation

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Our Work in Brazil

Tearfund is working in the poorest areas of North and Northeast Brazil.

In quilombo (afro-brazilian communities) and small farming communities, Tearfund’s partners are working to improve the quality of and access to water and sanitation systems to reduce diseases. In areas of very little rainfall, access to water has been improved through drilling wells, developing an underground dam and training in technologies that will help in semi-arid climates.

Food security programmes have helped drought-affected communities become self-sufficient in food production. Small farmers are taught to diversify their crops, build affordable irrigation systems and sanitation facilities, breed animals, sell excess produce in local markets and get involved in local politics.

Through our partner groups, Tearfund has been working with young people to develop their skills in income-generating activities, including the creation of small baking, fruit processing and handicraft production enterprises. This work aims to reduce conflict and violence, while providing a sustainable means of income for young people in small towns and villages.

Our partners have been working with churches to address key issues within society, such as land reform, sexual abuse, climate change, food security, transparency within government, and corruption.

For example, the Clean river, healthy community project was run in partnership with CIPEL (local pastors council) and Instituto Solidare. Through it a group of churches were mobilised to petition the local government to clear a nearby river of debris to prevent flooding.

OUR PARTNERS IN BRAZIL: ACEV, Diaconia, FEPAS/RENAS, Instituto Solidare & Asas do Socorro


The Clean river, healthy community project collected a petition of 14,000 signatures, while mobilising 40 churches, six communities, and local companies and governments, to find solutions in flood-prone areas.

As a result of our partner's work among communities in semi-arid locations, three wells have been drilled, and a water distribution system has been installed to help more than 400 people facing ongoing water crises.

The Urban Mission Network has helped 19 churches and organisations to reflect on and respond to problems within their communities, including issues of racism, the assassination of young people, and domestic violence.

Through the process of church and community transformation, Tearfund has brought together six networks and 32 churches/organisations to work closely together and respond to national challenges.

Pray for our work

  • Lift up families and communities in the semi-arid regions. Pray that the ongoing drought will come to an end.
  • Pray for the safety and security of our partners. Violence is rife in Brazil and, last year alone, more than 60,000 people were assassinated.
  • Pray for political and economic stability in Brazil. With issues of corruption within the Brazilian congress and government, the implications are far-reaching throughout the country.

Stories from Brazil

Where we're working