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In a pilot center in a small town in northeastern Brazil, Renata Arantes Villela is creating a caring and nurturing environment for the disabled. With strong links to the broader community in which it is based, the pilot center will serve as a model for the development of much-needed services for the disabled and as a vehicle for combating misconceptions about disabled individuals and what they can offer to their communities.
In the state of Bahia, in the northeast of Brazil, Sonia Coutinho has developed a center for arts and alternative education for adolescents with moderate learning disabilities that is remarkably effective in aiding their transition from school to productive employment and facilitating their continued intellectual growth. It is also playing an important role in heightening public awareness of the potential of such individuals for productive roles in society.
Seeking to combat hunger, Ninom Rouze has created a unique combined health and environmental education program among poor and indigenous agrarian communities in Brazil. Among other things, her program enables women to utilize everyday waste to supplement family nutrition.
An agronomist and social activist, Valdo França is combating hunger and malnutrition in Brazil through an endeavor that encourages the production and distribution of a multi-nutrient supplement made from inexpensive, readily available local materials. His "anti-hunger campaign" includes a multimedia public education effort and a pilot project in the western state of Acre.
Vera Gaensly Cordeiro is a pediatrician who could not stand to see terribly or terminally ill children obtain treatment in her hospital only to be released to such poverty that they could not recover or have hope of comfort.
Sylvio Jose de Oliveira has created an independent, voluntary program in the Rio de Janeiro state prison system designed to prevent AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases from spreading among and through the inmates. The focus of this program is to provide health and hygiene information, and at the same time enhance individual self-esteem. Sylvio's project is now being implemented in thirteen of the sixteen prisons in Rio de Janeiro.
Indrani Chakravarty is designing the first institute in India to combine research with practical work and care for the elderly. The project not only will provide necessary services to the elderly in Calcutta, but also could eventually draw necessary attention to the plight of the eighty million elderly in all of India.
For Suely Carvalho, the solution to healthier and happier births, especially among the underprivileged, lies in using natural procedures with the help of well-trained midwives. Suely, a nursing midwife herself, plans to revitalize this dying profession by creating a strong network of these professionals and creating birth centers designed to provide appropriate services for women in labor.