On August 2, 2023, Joni and Friends, a non-profit organization serving people with disabilities, broke ground on a new “Joni’s House” facility in Brazil to provide support and services to local people living with disability. Located in Campo Largo, outside the city of Curitiba (a region estimated to have more than 600,000 people with disabilities), this Joni’s House location will operate in partnership with Hospital do Rocio and the First Baptist Church of Curitiba (Primeira Igreja Batista de Curitiba).
Joni and Friends President and Chief Operating Officer Laura Gardner traveled to Brazil to take part in the groundbreaking ceremony along with members of the organization’s executive leadership team. Mauricio Rivabem, the Mayor of Campo Largo, leadership from Hospital do Rocio, and other local and regional officials were also in attendance.
“We are thrilled to break ground in Curitiba, Brazil for our newest Joni’s House. This international disability center will serve people living with disability and their families in Curitiba and the surrounding areas. With our valued partners, First Baptist Church of Curitiba and Hospital do Rocio, we will provide complete, Christ-centered care as we meet the spiritual, physical, social, and economic needs of those we serve.”
Laura Gardner, President and Chief Operating Officer
Through Joni’s House projects around the world, Joni and Friends works with local churches, medical providers, and other partners to raise the standard of care for people with disabilities.
Joni’s House projects currently operate in El Salvador, Uganda, and Brazil. In addition to medical care, mobility support, patient advocacy, essential resources, job training, and counseling, Joni’s House provides families living with disability the spiritual care, community, and experience of belonging they often lack.
“Joni’s House will be a very unique place in Brazil—a haven for training, rehabilitation, and treatment, in partnership with Hospital do Rocio, one of the largest hospitals in Brazil,” shared Pastor Paschoal Piragine Júnior, Pastor Emeritus, First Baptist Church of Curitiba. “Another thing that will set Joni’s House apart is the vision of this work: to bring faith, hope, and the love of our Lord Jesus Christ, through actions and the experience of his amazing grace. We receive Joni’s House with great joy and confidence in the tremendous impact that it will bring to people who suffer from a disability, as well as to their families. Joni and Friends, with gratitude we welcome you!”