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    Although Brazil struggled with issues of severe malnutrition in the past, since the 1990s obesity among children has become an increasingly alarming but unreported problem. Vera Perino is transforming the way Brazilian society perceives and addresses obesity by looking at both its causes and symptoms, while sparking deep behavior change and offering alternative lifestyle opportunities to low-income children and their families.

    Mário Gurjão is using his business background to help citizen organizations harness their productive potentials and solve their financial problems. Using the Internet, Mário is not only training organizations to market and distribute their products; he is also increasing consumers' investment in and understanding of social change projects.

    Manoel Andrade is ensuring that low-income, rural Brazilian youth receive the education they need to attend universities, become self-sufficient, and inspire future generations of students to attend school. His program focuses on strengthening rural communities themselves; creating bonds between academic institutions and students, developing forums for discussion, and transforming the way these communities view their access to the educational system.

    Luke Dowdney helps youngsters stay out of organized crime through a program that teaches martial arts along with life skills. He is leading an international network of organizations working to end children’s participation in gangs and other organized violence.

    Manoel Eduardo, a 31-year old lawyer who was the first Ombudsman of the southern city of Curitiba, plans to help citizen groups learn how to increase their participation in and control over government.

    As a pioneer in the field of urban housing reform, Maria das Gracas “Graca” Xavier is mobilizing historically excluded groups to take charge of their housing needs, and in turn, advance their legal and political interests.

    Rosina Duarte is restoring the social power of journalism in Brazil. Building on her experience as a freelance consultant for social change organizations, Rosina promotes inclusion and strengthens civil society by helping poor youth gain a voice in the news media.

    In the sertão "hinterlands" of northeastern Brazil, Francisco Alemberg de Souza Lima offers children dignified alternatives to exploitative labor by presenting opportunities in communications, media, and tourism. As a result, with their own creativity and enhanced education, the region's young people are leading their communities toward economic revitalization and cultural rebirth.

    Gilberto is launching a grassroots citizenship awareness movement that focuses on accountability at the municipal level. It aims to engage students and others to create non-partisan institutions across Brazil that monitor municipal elections, revering apathy and disaffection toward politics.