The Association of Latin American Women (AFAL) is organizing the XXII edition of its Charity Gala Dinner on October 20, at the Cercle Royal Gaulois with the support of the Brazilian Embassy in Brussels and the Brazilian Mission to the European Union. This year AFAL will support the project Doutores das Águas (Doctors of Waters), a hospital boat. The goal is to allow this boat to undertake its annual trip in 2019. This solidarity expedition will provide medical and dental care, as well as hygiene practices’ education to the population who leaves in the remote communities alongside the Amazon’s basins in Brazil.
Each year, the AFAL Board chooses a social project that is in need of help raising funds.
« AFAL, on its long journey (22 years) of helping the most deprived people in Latin America, took note of this project and decided to support Doutores das Águas. Water is life. […]. As Mothers and as Daughters, this project plunges us in to an extraordinary experience,” relates Marie-Thérèse de Liedekerke, President of AFAL.
“We take into account the scope of Doutores das Águas’ activities that go far beyond merely dental and medical care; it is essentially preventative care associated with education and hygiene programs in general. The fact that AFAL has backed this cause, and is organizing a gala dinner in 2018 to raise the necessary funds sensitized us a lot. However, the goal will only be achieved with everyone’s participation”, says Ms. Eliana Amaral, Ambassador of Brazil to the Kingdom of Belgium and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.
Doutores das Águas was born in 2011 from a union between doctors, dentists and fishermen with a detailed knowledge of the region. The basic principles are: to act in areas where the public authorities are absent, to use donations effectively, to maintain political and religious independence in order to respect each person’s free will and to preserve the cultural characteristics of the local population.
Doutores das Águas is recognized in Brazil as a Civil Society Organization of Public Interest (OSCIP), which means that its credibility, social role and financial transparency are strictly controlled by the Brazilian Ministry of Justice.
“Since our organization is nonprofit, Doutores das Águas only lives with annual donations collected to continue our social work as best as possible. Events such as those supported by AFAL, the Brazilian Embassy and the Brazilian Mission to the EU are fundamental to help these more unfortunate communities”, said Rubens de Almeida Prado, President of Doutores das Águas.
In 2018, 2142 people received medical care. 29% more than the previous year. In addition, dental services were provided to 1148 people, representing an increase of 22% over 2017.
Two expeditions are organized each year from Manaus (capital of Amazonas State). They take about 20 days each for a total of 2400km sailed. In April, during the off-season of the Amazon River, the hospital boat leaves its homeport to the distant basins of the Rio Negro (north of the Amazon) and The Rio Madeira (south of the Amazon River). The crew is made up of sailors and 36 volunteers, including doctors, dentists, assistants, educators and administrative personnel.