March 12, 2024

In Brasilia, Bus Will Serve as Venue for Courses, Training, and a Dental Clinic

ADRA initiative seeks to serve vulnerable populations around Brazil’s capital city.

Maita Tôrres, South American Division, and Adventist Review
ADRA leaders and government officers have partnered to help people in need in around Brasilia, Brazil. [Photo: Marcos Salas]

A partnership between the Labor Department and the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) in Brasilia and Goiás, Brazil, helped to furnish a bus that will serve as a mobile unit of health and social assistance in that area. Adventist and social leaders recently inaugurated the so-called “Professions Road” bus, completely refurbished and customized, which is now expected to serve vulnerable populations in several challenging areas around Brazil’s capital.

The initiative’s main goal is to promote better health and social opportunities for people in need in and around Brasilia, providing health education and the assistance needed as the bus travels around the area. Some of the initiatives will seek to help people find employment, while others will provide free dental care, including implants, leaders said.

In a recent ceremony, government officers and regional political leaders participated in the launch of the initiative. “The inauguration of the mobile unit was full of joy and expectation,” participants said. “It was filled with smiles and the excitement of witnessing the [bus’s] first appointments.”

Marcos Leite, administrator of the Samambaia district, which is expected to be served by the bus, thanked ADRA for its decision to support and allocate a budget for the launch and implementation of the initiative. “I just want to say thank you very much for bringing this project to Samambaia first,” Leite said. “Our administration is open to this and other projects. We will help in whatever may be necessary, you can count on it.”

In his speech, Leite recalled that his children attended Adventist schools, where they witnessed this volunteer and social focus. According to him, the Professions Road bus initiative seeks to take care of other people, and “ADRA and the Adventist Church know how to do it.”

For ADRA Brazil director Fábio Salles, the launch of the mobile unit is very important for society. “In this way, we will be able to reach to those who most need it, providing them with resources that will allow them to grow. And people will also be able to [have] access to free dental care wherever they live,” Salles said.

Salles also mentioned digital inclusion, which will be offered through courses and lectures in the computer lab set up inside the bus. “We will be able to train these people, so they can acquire a profession, enter the job market and, thus, earn their own income.”

Joymir Guimarães, director of ADRA in Brasilia and Goiás, explained that the idea came up last year, under the leadership of his predecessor. A partnership was then established with the Labor Department, “which allocated resources to make the refurbishing of this bus possible,” Guimarães said. “Our aim is to serve people in need.”

Wilson Ferreira, a dental surgeon, is one of the volunteer professionals who will be part of the mobile unit’s care. “I like participating in outreach initiatives and witnessing people’s joy,” he said. “Currently, we have a group serving in the dental field, and it is very rewarding, especially when a person gets new dentures and smiles again.”

The inauguration ceremony included students who took cooking classes and helped serve snacks to visitors and officers, thanks to a partnership that includes chef Maria Cláudia. “This partnership helped the neediest population to have access to free courses,” Cláudia said. She emphasized that the job market is always looking for qualified professionals. “So, we are helping the population that needs it most,” she said.

One of the students, Valdir Oliveira, highlighted the importance of what he has been learning. “This course has given me a lot. In addition to changing habits at home, I’ll be changing my profession,” Oliveira said. “As soon as I finish this course, I’ll start working in the food preservation industry.”The original version of this story was posted on the South American Division Portuguese-language news site.