The Movimento Próximos Passos RS campaign has been launched by the Brazilian Association of Footwear Industries (Abicalçados), the Brazilian Association of Leather Component Companies, Footwear and Artifacts (Assintecal) and Brazilian Tanning Industry Center (CICB), along with companies from the sectors.

The footwear production chain in Rio Grande do Sul reportedly comprises around 3,000 companies and 120,000 direct workers, who have been affected by the unprecedented tragedy.

According to data on May 13 from the state government, the floods have hit 447 municipalities and 2.1 million people, with 538,000 people displaced and 147 confirmed deaths.

Abicalçados Executive President Haroldo Ferreira said: “We are a labour-intensive sector. There are thousands of people who make a living from the activity. The reconstruction, first of all, of these people’s lives, is our main objective with the campaign. It is based on the dignity and housing conditions of the families that depend on the footwear chain that we will have an entire sector reestablished.”

For more information, including how you can donate to the cause, head to the Abicalçados website.