TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwanese expatriates in Brazil donated an enormous 1,200 food baskets to São Paulo homeless charity Casa Belém in a ceremony on Dec. 9.
CNA reports that celebratory charity events are held by the Taiwanese expat community in Brazil each year on Christmas eve. Their efforts this year were dedicated to providing relief to the homeless via a foundation administered by Catholic church Capela Nossa Senhora da Medalha Milagrosa.
The philanthropic venture was jointly coordinated by Taiwanese Office in Brazil official Chang Tsung-che (張崇哲) and Global Federation of Chinese Business Women Brazil Division President Huang Hsiu-li (黃秀莉).
In the afternoon of Dec. 9, Chang and Huang, along with an congregation of philanthropic Taiwanese expats, delivered the food baskets to Casa Belém to spread Christmas cheer to some of Sao Paolo’s most needy residents. The Cardinal of the Catholic Diocese of São Paulo also attended the donation ceremony.
Casa Belém—literally “Bethlehem House” in English, alluding to the inn in which Jesus was said to be born—was established 13 years ago and now hosts 124 care homes across São Paulo. The charity dedicates special care to drug-using homeless individuals, helping them to overcome addiction. Around 50% of people who move through Casa Belém are able to reintegrate into society, according to the CNA report.
Due to the numerous locations and the number of homeless individuals taken in, Casa Belém needs 10 tons of food to feed its guests each year.
Huang said the Taiwanese are very diligent people, and as well as putting their heart and soul into work, they are also extremely enthusiastic about charity. Those involved in this year’s donation hope their work inspire others to reach out to create a more peaceful society in Brazil, she added.
In a speech at the donation ceremony, Chang said he was honored to oversee the function alongside the Catholic Cardinal, and told attendees not to underestimate the kindness of the Taiwanese people. He expressed hope that everyone could further understand the beauty of Taiwanese culture, and that this could be a springboard for further exchanges between Taiwan and Brazil.
The Cardinal himself said charity work is not easy. He acknowledged that Taiwan is a free and democratic country, and praised the desire of the Taiwan expat community in Brazil to assist homeless individuals in “returning to the love of society”—which is admirable, he added.
He then continued: “If the donated food baskets were piled up to make a wall, it would not act as a barrier between people, but would be a shared wall of love that reunites everyone.”
Huang said she has been engaged in welfare work for a long time, and because of this she knows there are too many vulnerable people in severe need of help in Brazil. Unfortunately, she added, many public welfare structures and organizations suffer from corruption, so charity relief work must always be rationally evaluated and put into practice to avoid disappointing those dedicating time and effort to bettering society.
She expressed that this time, the Taiwanese expat community make their mark on the map with another successful exercise of national diplomacy.