Although COVID-19 cases have been on the rise in São Paulo, Brazil, many of the city’s residents have decided to take action.
Notably, high school student Gabriel Aun Klinger organized a project intended to help people from favelas in Brazil defend themselves against the virus.
Favelas are slums (or highly-populated communities) where many people live in extreme poverty. Many favela residents struggle to feed themselves and have to live in dangerously unhygienic conditions.
“Some people from these communities can’t even afford to buy a soap bar,” stated Klinger.
After reading several documents and scientific papers on COVID-19, Klinger stumbled upon a simple, affordable, and effective solution against COVID-19—something he described as being the “perfect weapon of self-defense against the virus.” When he realized that this solution was also much cheaper and easier to obtain than 70% alcohol gel, he immediately launched his project aiming to use it for the benefit of the people in favelas.
“The core of the project has been to share information I had regarding a home-made solution for combatting the coronavirus with some of the most vulnerable people in São Paulo,” he explained.
In March, his crowdfunding campaign raised enough money to purchase hygiene products and food items for over 500 families in those communities. As a part of the project, he then distributed these products to the community, making sure to teach those people how to prepare the solution with the items they received.
According to him, the project was a success. “We were able to distribute all the kits in an organized and smooth way,” Klinger said. “It felt incredible to be involved in the community in this way, and be able to make a real, tangible contribution during a time like this.”
In June, Klinger organized a second round of this project so he could help even more people.
“If this project was able to save even one life, it was worth it completely,” he said.
Through his project, Klinger learned that small actions like this one can go a long way. In times like these, he hopes to remind people that everyone has the power to make an impact on people’s lives and help those who need it most.