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Volunteer Day: 48% of Brazilians have already taken actions like this

Every Sunday, the secretary Iris Aparecida dos Santos and three other volunteers wake up at 5 am to bake warm rolls. There are two thousand breads that end up on the table of needy families in Planaltina (DF) and Planaltina de Goiás (GO). In addition to bread, she distributes soups and other meals. “Everything, absolutely everything, comes from donations. So what I do is the measure of what I earn”, he said.

The vocation to help comes from the family. 60 years ago, Irís’ grandfather founded a spiritist center for charity. “This issue of helping, doing good, I was born in this environment. And I always did, I always liked it. It’s my life.”, he highlighted.

She has been taking care of the Maria de Nazaré Assistance Post (Pamana) for six years, which serves about 30 families and 60 children. There, they have a literacy job, food distribution. Everything is based on donations.

“I have, thank God, a great chain, a network of friends, who are these friends who help us, through the donation of all items, we do bazaar, I earn furniture, appliances, throughout the DF. And these sales are helping us to help so many families”. Iris also receives donations of hospital items such as wheelchairs, bath chairs and stretchers, which they lend to those in need. “They use it and return it. That way we help several people”, he celebrated.

Like Iris, 48% of Brazilians do or have done a voluntary action. And 71% of Brazilians are interested in volunteering. The data are part of a survey by Itaú Social and Instituto Unibanco, carried out by Datafolha, released in celebration of the International Volunteer Day, celebrated this Sunday (5).

1,871 people aged 14 and over were interviewed with the aim of analyzing the perspective of Brazilians in relation to volunteering. Of those interviewed, 28% participate in volunteer actions at least once a week.

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International Volunteer Day is celebrated this Sunday – Arte/Agência Brasil

Among the main causes they would like to act are assistance (donation of food, clothing), education projects, environmental preservation, health, animal protection and shelter for homeless people.

With regard to donation, most respondents, 91%, usually make some kind of donation, generally food.

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Data are from research carried out by Itaú Social and Instituto Unibanco, carried out by Datafolha – Arte/Agência Brasil

Solidarity that increased in the pandemic. Seller Fabiana de Oliveira Bezerra Gerber, who helps with food donations in Curitiba, says that, during this period, the help was much greater and she was able to assemble a much fuller food basket.

“With all this crisis that came with the pandemic, the families [assisted] have increased. In addition, the center in which Fabiana participates helps with fraternal assistance and training courses. “The work is very rewarding: seeing their smiles, hearing them say that our conversation with them is good. This is priceless,” he said.

The coordinator of Social Engagement and Reading at Itaú Social draws attention to another fact from the survey: 93% of the people interviewed recognize the importance of voluntary action, but 28% think that specific training is needed for this practice. Among uneducated people, the number reaches 46%.

“In other words, people want to do it, they think it’s important, but they believe they need to be qualified. Not because the work is voluntary that it can be done anyway. Especially when it comes to voluntary actions for education, it is necessary to recognize the challenges that education faces. The volunteer needs to identify what the territory’s needs are, and then plan actions so that they are, in fact, adequate and effective.”

Text translated using artificial intelligence.

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