“I chose to leave Brazil, but I am grateful to my roots.” It was with this gratitude that therapist Emilie da Silva Stradtford, 41, moved the Brazilian community to Australia and raised over 100,000 reais for the purchase of basic baskets, intended for needy families in Brazil.
Living in Sidney for 15 years, Pauliste created the project #lembradecasa, with the proposal to invite expatriates to help change the scenario of hunger in Brazil. “Anyone who is Brazilian and not at home, we can’t fly home. The idea was to show how we connect with Brazil without being in Brazil. It’s a campaign of gratitude and honor to our roots “.
Feed the idea
The Brazilian made the decision to create the project after her father fell ill during the pandemic. “When my father recovered, I thought, ‘I have to do something out of gratitude.’ The idea took shape when the therapist came across data published by IBGE on hunger in the country. According to the report released in September, 10.3 million Brazilians live in severe food insecurity, a number that has increased by 3 million in the past five years.
Offering to raise funds for the purchase of a thousand basic food baskets, the #lembradecasa project was launched in November via a crowdfunding platform.
“We suggest a minimum donation of AU $ 25, which for us is the price of a large pizza, but which in Brazil buys a basic basket that will feed a family of four for at least two weeks,” says the creator.
With a team of 13 volunteers assigned to Australia, there are plenty of challenges. Besides the 14 hour time difference, logistics also weighed. “It would be much easier for the project to send the money directly to Brazil and get there, but we took care to select the NGOs and plan the deliveries, thinking about how to get to the areas. where trucks don’t pass, for example, “says Emilie.
For the choice of NGOs, the organization selected projects in three of the four states where hunger is most critical, according to IBGE data: São Paulo, Bahia and Maranhão. And since the campaign slogan was “every penny becomes food for Brazil,” another challenge was to ensure that the cost of the operation didn’t “eat up” the amount collected.
“In order to reduce delivery costs, we had thought about hiring a truck driver, but then we found out that the food shipment in Brazil is valuable, it is one of the most looted cargoes. So we had to look for a company that would make the baskets and could deliver for free throughout Brazil, ”explains the designer, noting that the team has relentlessly negotiated the value of the baskets.
Based on trust
“In terms of logistics, we are a group in Australia arriving in the company without an order form with CNPJ, since we do not yet have an NGO. It was in trust, the company had to trust and manage production before having the money, ”explains Emilie.
Another stumbling block was the change in the exchange rate. At the start of collections on November 13, the Australian dollar was worth around R $ 4. After three weeks of the campaign, the currency had fallen to less than R $ 3.80. “Every dollar of difference was baskets we could lose along the way.” To avoid losses, the #lembradecasa team had the backing of a Brazilian currency brokerage firm that “held the trade” at the level of the start of crowdfunding.
A plate full of desire and empathy
In total, the campaign raised AU $ 28,300, or the equivalent of nearly R $ 110,000. The amount resulted in the purchase of 1,282 basic food baskets, exceeding the initial target of 1,000 units, and will change the Christmas season for more than 5,000 people.
Brazilian Nathália Atademos was one of more than 400 people who donated to the project. “It is very gratifying to see compatriots coming together to bring a little joy to so many homes in Brazil. We never forget our roots and the importance of giving back to the country that gave us the basis of what we are today “. Almost nine years in Australia, she immediately identified with the project.
With a taste of desire and empathy, the campaign received donations from expats living in Australia, friends and businesses of Brazilians, but also those living in other countries, such as the United States. , Canada, Germany and the Netherlands. The breaking of borders is a sign that the initiative has global potential, connecting Brazilian communities around the world. There are at least 3.1 million Brazilians living abroad, according to data from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“What we have opened now was a door for people who live abroad and who couldn’t imagine how they could help Brazil. We gave them the chance to think ‘I can do a little’, says Emilie. .
The baskets were distributed among the projects in proportion to the IBGE’s hunger map and included five institutions: Project Bantu, by Vera Cruz (BA), Community of São Paulo, Paratinga (BA), Project Mandingueiros do Amanhã, in São Luís (MA)), Projeto Estrela do Natal, from Guaianases (SP) and communities assisted by the team of Padre Julio Lancellotti, from São Paulo (SP).
Distribution to families is carried out by NGOs, while the Australian team follows everything by video. “How do you explain the feeling of doing a business like this here on the other side of the world? I could see the smile on a person’s face in the middle of a quilombola. How lucky would I be? in a quilombola community do that? ” very beautiful! », She is delighted to recount one of the deliveries made to Maranhão.
For this reason (and tons of others), she says the continuity of the project is a reality. And the next step has already been taken: the #lembradecasa team has launched the NGO registration process in Brazil and Australia. For future campaigns, the challenge is to bring together Brazilian expatriate communities from all over the world. “Brazilians aren’t good at everything, but we come together for everything. That’s what we do best. And coming together for a good cause is an honor.”