Connecting Harpenden to the Sao Paulo Favelas

Parishioners from Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Harpenden met last Tuesday evening to learn about CAFOD’s work in Brazil.

CAFOD Connect2 Brazil Sao Paulo Harpenden Our Lady of Lourdes Parish

Harpenden Our Lady of Lourdes Parish with CAFOD Community Participation Co-ordinator Tony Sheen

Sao Paulo is the biggest city in South America.  Unfortunately it also has a huge disparity in the wealth between rich and poor. It boasts a super- rich group of the population with the highest ownership of privately owned Helicopters, whilst at the same time over six million people live in precarious housing conditions such as the Favelas.

Communities in the Favelas often live in fragile houses built out of plywood and corrugated iron, which have no access to electricity, clean water or sanitation systems.

CAFOD partner organisations in Sao Paulo work alongside the poor communities living in these precarious conditions supporting them with various immediate and long term needs.

Tony Sheen described visiting a number of Favelas and meeting inspiring CAFOD partners and communities who CAFOD are supporting through these partners.

CAFOD Connect2 Brazil Nursery School Villa Prudente Favela Sao Paulo

Nursery School Villa Prudente Favela Sao Paulo

He witnessed our CAFOD partners supporting the immediate needs of vulnerable mothers, children and the elderly people through the distribution of government funded milk.  CAFOD partners have also helped with the setting up of community groups and supported the training of advocacy workers, who have enabled a number of favela communities attain access to land rights , clean water, sanitation and a primary Schools and Youth facilities.

Our partners in Brazil are an example of the church in action helping our brothers and sisters in Christ who are living in abject poverty. There infectious enthusiasm comes from seeing their work as not just a job but a vocation.

If your parish would like to learn more about this work in this Brazil and get to know the communities in Sao Paulo and support them you may like to sign up for our scheme called Connect2.

Invite Tony or member of our Brazil team to speak in your parish by contacting


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