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Sergio Marques Santana, 32, is improving the lives of the low income population of the Baixada Fluminense, a proletarian suburb of Rio de Janeiro and of poor rural groups by developing concrete opportunities of exchange and support among these two groups. Read more

Victoria Shocrón

Ashoka Fellow since Feb 1995

Argentina
Victoria Shocrón is working, in a non-confrontational way, to integrate young people with disabilities into Argentine society and to educate the Argentine public about people with disabilities. In pursuing those twin goals, she has developed a set of programs, including agreements with progressive... Read more
Rodrigo Baggio spearheads a rapidly growing movement to equip young people in low-income communities with computer skills and thus to expand their job opportunities and their access to modern society. Read more

Zoica Bakirtzief

Ashoka Fellow since Jan 1998

Brazil
Zoica Bakirtzief has conceived a way for people with disabilities to enter into the job market. Rather than focusing on the few opportunities that exist in the formal sector for people who are disabled, diseased, and undereducated, she is training them to start and run their own businesses. Read more

Sueli Camargo de Mattos

Ashoka Fellow since Jan 1998

Brazil
Sueli Camargo has developed a comprehensive professional training program for teenagers in São Paulo's slums, teaching them the personal presentation skills necessary to succeed in a competitive job market. Read more
Teresa D'Amaral is fighting for citizenship rights for people with disabilities, creating a legally-mandated demand for employment and a locally-supported supply of skilled workers. Her institution also initiates a wide range of socialization programming for people with disabilities to integrate... Read more
Valdecir Pedreira do Nascimento is giving young domestic workers in Brazil the confidence and skills to stand up for their rights. Her comprehensive program integrates education, media, and the law in an effort to professionalize domestic work and open up opportunities for Brazilian youth. Read more

Nelsa Nespolo

Ashoka Fellow since Aug 2006

Brazil
Nelsa Nespolo is creating a “fair chain” model that brings workers in the supply chain into ownership and management responsibilities—giving them greater control over their livelihoods. Read more

Rodrigo Brito

Ashoka Fellow since Feb 2007

Brazil
Rodrigo Brito created the Entrepreneurs Alliance to develop, together with small businesses, infrastructure and quality services to increase income and profit in low-income communities that are normally excluded from the market. The Alliance facilitates a support network with businessmen, students,... Read more

Said Hammouche

Ashoka Fellow since Aug 2007

France
Saïd Hammouche is working to fight discrimination in France by promoting diversity and bringing talented leaders from marginalized social groups to the forefront of French society. By entitling these individuals to managerial jobs, he is effectively bridging the divide between the corporate world... Read more