Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Floods in Rio de Janiero State - How You Can Help

News media around the world have recently been giving a good deal of coverage to the tragic situation in the mountain regions of the Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro. Torrential downpours have caused massive flooding and a large number of mudslides that have killed at least 700 people and have destroyed the homes and livelihoods of thousands. It is the largest natural disaster in Brazil in the past forty years, and perhaps, by the time the final count is made, the largest natural disaster in the history of the country.

Here in Brazil, donations of money, food, clothing and shelter have been making their way to help those in dire need in the cities of Teresópolis, Petrópolis, Novo Friburgo, and other smaller towns in the alpine region, only 100 km. from the city of Rio de Janeiro. Information on how and where to donate is available everywhere - in the internet, on the radio and TV, and in newspapers and magazines.

For readers of Flavors of Brazil who are not in Brazil but who would like to help in the relief efforts, we suggest that you make a donation for a charitable organization called ShelterBox, headquartered in the UK, but with offices in many countries of the world. They specialize in rapid-action teams who move directly into distaster-struck regions and aid local workers in any number of ways. They currently have a team on the ground in the Brazilian disaster area. On the ShelterBox website, there are links to all the offices in various countries, with information on how to donate. According to the USA-based Charity Navigator Rating, ShelterBox is a highly reliable agency, with over 81% of money donated being spent used in program expenses, and only about 18% divided between administration and fundraising expenses. A copy of the repost of ShelterBox is available here. Flavors of Brazil urges all its reader to do whatever they can to help the people who have been devastated by floods and landslides in Rio de Janeiro state.

Thank you. Muito obrigado.

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