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João Roberto Cilento Winther

Ashoka Fellow since Aug 1988

Brazil
Joao Winther intends to give the fishermen living along Brazil's vast coast preventive legal protection so they can defend their continued use of the oceanfront. Read more
Rosangela Bieler, a 32-year-old journalist and paraplegic, is the founder and president of the Independent Living Center of Rio de Janeiro, an organization which is spearheading the movement of disabled Brazilians to win full citizenship. Read more

Jane Chiang Sieh

Ashoka Fellow since Dec 1989

Brazil
Jane Sieh works with adolescent girls from the slums of Campinas, SP, offering them an alternative to life on the street. Read more
Mara Ferreira, a former geographer, urban planner, and systems analyst for the city of Rio de Janeiro, has taken her skills and training to the countryside. She has developed a comprehensive systems approach that grassroots rural communities can readily use. Read more

Wigold Bertoldo Schäffer

Ashoka Fellow since Nov 1995

Brazil
Wigold Schäffer is developing, demonstrating and testing a new model for the operation of small farms that reconciles the preservation of secondary forests and attendant biodiversity with farmers' desires for higher incomes and improved quality of life. Combining native species reforestation, the... Read more

Itamar Silva

Ashoka Fellow since May 1996

Brazil
In hopes of providing youngsters in the slums with viable careers and greater self-esteem, Itamar Silva has created a new action plan through education tailored to their needs and in coordination with existing community-based initiatives. 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

Oscar Arruda d'avila

Ashoka Fellow since Aug 2000

Brazil
Oscar Arruda has devised a strategy for enabling farmers in Brazil's semi-arid northeast to exploit an abundant local plant as an alternative crop that provides economic self-sufficiency in an otherwise depressed local economy. Read more
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... Read more
Francisco de Oliveira Rebouças Neto, known as Neto, is taking a regional approach to economic recovery by implementing a package of microloan and training programs for individuals and families in small towns experiencing severe economic decline. Neto's idea is to create a chain of interlinked... Read more