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  • Writer's pictureHopeloft Team

Hopeloft Establishes First International Location

Updated: May 26, 2021

Begins Serving Women and Children in Brazil

The façade of Hopeloft's new location in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The façade of Hopeloft's co-location with the Esther Project in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

We are all searching for signs, seasons, and reasons for hope. And sometimes exactly what we are looking for can be found within ourselves.

Over a year has passed since the COVID-19 pandemic began, and the virus continues to reshape the way we live. Around the world, the virus continues to devastate communities who still have not fully recovered from the initial outbreak last year. In Brazil, the situation on the ground is harrowing.

A mother and son pick up donated food from Hopeloft's new location in Rio de Janeiro.
A mother and son pick up donated food from Hopeloft's new co-location with the Esther Project in Rio de Janeiro.

Brazil, which is Latin America’s largest country, has the second-highest COVID-19 death count in the world, as they have just passed 450,000 deaths. As they battle the latest surge in cases of the virus, they’re also bracing for even worse conditions as the season changes to winter in the southern hemisphere. According to The New York Times' Brazil Bureau Chief, Ernesto Londono, tens of millions of people are hungry — even starving — and images of bread lines snaking through the streets of the favelas have become the symbol of near collapse.

But together, we can make a difference.

With plans to expand to a host of cities around the world to inspire change, Hopeloft has officially launched its second location in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to combat food insecurity and other emergent needs triggered by the pandemic. The new Hopeloft is in the heart of the city along with a partner organization: The Esther Project, an initiative that feeds and empowers homeless women and children in Brazil. Together, Hopeloft and The Esther Project have set a goal to provide food for 500 homeless people in Rio de Janeiro per month. And we intend to serve more if we are able.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected the poor and marginalized in Brazil. Millions are suffering from food scarcity. Immediate action is needed to combat the risk of starvation, followed by Hopeloft’s approach to inspire agencies to collaborate to address systemic injustices.” says Rich Nichols, founder of the Esther Project.

Families line up to receive donated food.
Families are served hot meals outside the new Hopeloft co-location with the Esther Project in Rio de Janeiro.

In addition to our main focus of combating food insecurity, we at Hopeloft plan to offer job training resources, employment assistance, and more services from our location in Rio de Janeiro.

“We don’t want to just provide relief to communities where people are struggling. We want to be physically rooted in the places so we can support the people long-term who are the agents of community-led change,” says Melissa Helmbrecht, founder of Hopeloft.

Donated funds have been used to purchase the food for women and children in dire need.
Donated funds have been used to purchase the food for women and children in dire need.

Today marks a new beginning for Hopeloft. Our growing community relationship in Brazil is the first step toward expanding, serving, and investing in communities worldwide which will lead to partnering with community changers and empowering citizens to be the change, because we all have something valuable to contribute to the world and to each other.

Help us make a difference in the lives of those affected by the ongoing pandemic in Brazil by joining our movement. One-hundred percent of your contribution to Hopeloft's Brazil project will provide immediate relief and much-needed food to support women and children who have been affected by COVID-19 in Rio de Janeiro.

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