Behind Brazil World Cup

[ePrayer – Pray for the impoverished communities in Brazil]


Brazilian street artist Paulo Ito crystallizes Brazillian’s frustration over the World Cup event: A hungry child sits with his eating utensils at the dining table, cries when his plate comes bearing not food but a soccer ball.

All people around the world are earnestly looking forward to the kickoff of Brazil World Cup 2014 on 12 June. However, behind the Event, apart from the subway train strikes that hit the newspaper headline recently, the desperate situation of local slums, ongoing unresolved livelihood issues and corruption seen at all levels demand our attention.

Brazil ranks the world’s seventh biggest economy and is even the biggest one in South America, but ironically is also at the top of the list of income disparity. Local communities have always been suffering from chronic poor education, shortage of medical service, unsafe living environment and corruption. Although in the last 5 years the Brazilian government has continuously increased the expenditure on education, medical care, housing and social assistance, the Brazilians are frustrated at their government spending $13 billion in hosting this year’s World Cup event.

To ensure a safe environment for the World Cup event and its travelers, the Brazilian police has set up a special task force since 2008 to clear up drug trafficking and triad activities in the slums of the major cities, such as Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. Their actions seems effective and the security seems improving, but the drug dealers are in fact still active on the sly. Most slum residents feel even more unsafe with the way how the police uses their power. Police can shoot anyone they suspect, including the civilians and the innocent children.

After the World Cup, Brazil will continue to prepare for her next hosting event, Rio 2016 Olympics. Pray that Brazilian government will actively respond to the basic demands of her people, improve their living conditions and the environment in the slum areas, and seriously attend to the corruption widely seen in the country. [The Financial Times,, The Washington Post]

Meditation on Scriptures:

‘Woe to him who builds his palace by unrighteousness, his upper rooms by injustice, making his own people work for nothing, not paying them for their labour. He says, “I will build myself a great palace with spacious upper rooms.” So he makes large windows in it, panels it with cedar and decorates it in red.’

‘Does it make you a king to have more and more cedar? Did not your father have food and drink? He did what was right and just, so all went well with him. He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?’ declares the Lord. (Jeremiah 22:13-16)

Brazilians love to play soccer, but the slum residents living in dire straits even yearn more for better living condition, better education and safer living environment. May we not forget the need of the marginalised communities in Brazil while we enjoy the tournaments. That is what it means to know the Lord, our God.

Pray for the impoverished communities in Brazil:

  • May Brazilian government respond to the different demands of people on better living and labour rights;
  • Pray for God’s protection and peace to the slum residents;
  • Pray that God will stop the abuse of power by police. Pray that the police will enforce with love and justice.

Sichuan Yaan Quake: Third Phase of Relief Work and Post-disaster Recovery Plan

The distribution process of relief material has been hampered because of the road block caused by heavy rain and landslide. Give thanks that the CEDAR’s China programme team and local church were able to successfully deliver all materials sponsored by HKSAR Disaster Relief Fund Advisory Committee to the quake affected families. Besides, members of Dazhou church went to the affected area and provided medical service.

1. Relief material distribution

CEDAR received a grant from HKSAR Disaster Relief Fund Advisory Committee for the second phase of relief distribution, and worked with local churches & Christian groups in Sichuan to deliver cooking oil, plastic sheets, metal food tanks and sanitary items for women, benefiting 2 administrative villages in Tianquan County and 3 administrative villages in Lushan County, altogether 2,772 households. The households greatly appreciate these materials, particularly the plastic sheets and metal food tanks. As rain still occurs frequently, they can wrap their properties with plastic sheets for protection and store their food in the food tanks.

Once rain had stopped and the road had reopened, the team was busy to load the materials into the trucks.

The truck arrived at midnight, and the staff team and volunteers were then busy to unload the plastic sheets despite heavy rain. 

The staff was stock-checking the metal food tanks. 

Villagers volunteered themselves to help in the distribution process.

Villagers collected the women sanitary packs.

Cooking oil fits exactly their needs. 

Villagers were happy to receive the plastic sheets. They could wrap their properties and food so they don’t get wet. 

Also, they like the metal food tank, as food can be stored in it and kept fresh. 

Villagers had to walk over hills to carry the heavy packs of relief materials back home. They helped each other on the way. 

The staff team also went to the affected villages to visit the families. 

During the conversation with the villagers, the staff team learned their needs and also calmed down their worries.   

Pray that the affected community can walk from the dire situation and embrace hope soon

2. Medical service

Medical service was organized in two townships in Lushan County, by Dazhou church, Sichuan. Many villagers in the affected areas exhibited dizziness, weakness, chronic illness and other sicknesses after the quake. The medical volunteer team provided consultation and certain medicines.

Through the service, we can identify the physical and psychological needs of the community after the quake and then provide counseling and post- trauma services, hoping this can assist them to start a new life.  

Please keep praying for the new round of rehabilitation work that through our service we can continue to care for the quake victims.

Relief Donation

  • Cheque payable to ‘CEDAR FUND’
  • Deposit to HSBC A/C No. 600-385678-001, enclosing with the Pay-in slip
  • Visa/ Master Card (Download donation form)
  • Online donation

(Please mark “Sichuan Yaan Quake Relief”)

[1] CEDAR is an approved charitable institutions and trusts of a public character under section 88 of the Inland Revenue Ordinance. Please click Inland Revenue Department website to check for details.
[2] Donations over $100 are tax deductible in Hong Kong with our receipts.
[3] Please DO NOT fax any donation information.

Contact Method

Add>G.P.O. Box 3212Hong Kong

CEDAR’s Relief and Rehabilitation Work in Past:
CEDAR Approach on Relief and Rehabilitation:

Shanti Nepal’s Community Health and Empowerment Programme in Nepal

Dhading is one of the most impoverished districts in the central region of Nepal. Most of the population is ethnic groups. Nearly 40% of its population lives in very poor and marginalized situation. They are mainly subsistence farmers, surviving by scanty means. There is poor sanitation with over 60% of the population in the district has no access to clean drinking water and very few villagers have toilets. Due to lack of basic health and hygiene knowledge and availability of medical services, child mortality rate is more than 10%. Villagers do not receive suitable medication when they suffered from commonly found diseases as diarrhea, gastritis and typhoid.

Our partner Shanti Nepal provides training and technical support to local clinics through implementing a Community Health and Empowerment programme. In order to improve medical services, trainings are given to local government health workers.  Meanwhile, indigenous organisations and local churches are taught how to respond to local needs on primary health care and basic livelihood. Partner also supports small scale drinking water initiatives, antenatal and postnatal checking to pregnant women and teaches villagers about children nutrition and health. For the economic improvement, trainings are given to community development groups on techniques of planting, chicken and goat / sheep raising and handicraft. For improving the health of villagers, the programme actively promotes the importance of sanitation as well as building of toilets. Many villages experienced community transformation because of this programme.

The Kumal community is a good example. Several years ago, only 6 households out of 154 had pit latrines in the village. The level of hygiene and sanitation of the community was low.  People practiced open-field defecation therefore wastes laid around and gave off offensive smell in the air. In 2009 partner setup an Environmental Sanitation Coordination Committee to address the environmental health issues of the community. The committee raised villagers’ sanitation awareness through cultural events and audio-visual media. Before long, villagers started to commit in building toilets. Shanti Nepal supported the community by providing materials and technical skill training on toilet building. Villagers then started to dig pits, make walls and collect materials for the toilets. Within 3 months, all 154 households in the community built toilets successfully. Community members have transformed from the poor habit of open-field defecation. Local rules are also developed to keep the village clean. Now the Kumal community can enjoy an improvement in sanitation and a clean environment.

With your support:

HK$250 will subsidise a household to build a toilet;
HK$500 will provide two basic health sessions for mothers’ groups;
HK$1,000 will provide four training sessions on livelihood skills to community groups

Donate now to support our partner’s community health and education programme to improve the lives of these marginalised communities.