On Saturday evening the Brazilian Embassy engaged in a bit of cultural diplomacy when it hosted Festa Junina 2018.
Billed as the biggest cultural celebration, the June party is celebrated in all Brazilian states often on the eve of the Catholic solemnities of Saint John the Baptist. This year’s celebration served as an opportunity for the Brazilian community in Guyana to share their cultural practices with Guyanese and give back to the community.
During the celebration the embassy made available in its building a chest to collect donations for needy children in Lethem.
Lais Thome, Administrative Assistant at the embassy explained to Stabroek News that there are 600 children between the ages of 11 and 16 who live in dormitories in the vicinity of Lethem so that they can regularly attend school.
Since many of these children travel from remote areas it is not feasible for them to return home every day or for their parents to provide them with daily necessities. In other cases parents are unable to afford these necessities so donations of clothing, shoes, non-perishable food, personal hygiene products, bedding and bathing essentials were invited.
Thome explained that while they have received numerous donations for which they are grateful it is still not enough.
“We got a lot of clothes and lots of food like rice and chowmein but no sanitary products or things like toothpaste and soap which are greatly needed,” she said.
According to Thome, the embassy will transport those donations already received to the four dormitories they are supporting but they remain willing to accept and transport any other donations which they may receive.
“The girls especially really need sanitary napkins. It is not something many think about but they are at an age where it is essential,” she stressed.
This year’s Festa Junina was celebrated with sponsorship from Rossignol Butcheries of the Guyanas Inc, Western Union, Guyana Office for Investment, Brasimex Inc, Nice Restaurante, GTT, Cosmetics Beauty World, Ismael JÓIAS, Space Gym, JOHIL Commercial, Excel minerals, Pulse entertainment and GSAT Connection Inc.