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    Helping Poor Communities Have a Say in Their Own Development

    Ronaldo Lima de Oliveira is working both to prevent the destruction of the rain forest and to guarantee the survival of forest communities by creating a model for sustainable agro-economical activities in Brazil's recently-created "extractive reserves." The strategies that he is developing will allow people living in the reserves to meet their food needs and to produce a surplus to be sold in the market, thus enabling them to buy other goods necessary for their family's survi

    Paulo Lima founded a low-cost, effective print publication to spark the participation of children and teenagers in civic life and decision-making. He also helps adult readers understand and respect the perspectives of young people on issues of critical importance to the community.

    Based on a profound sense of respect for rural laborers that grew out of his own early experience working side by side with them, Goya Lamartine has designed and implemented the first comprehensive paralegal training course for community advocates in northeast Brazil.

    José Dias is empowering small farmers in Northeastern Brazil to collectively manage and appropriate resources for drought-resistant technologies. His model aims to break the dependence of small-scale farmers on government support by providing them with sufficient autonomy to invest in new infrastructure and appropriate technology as they see fit.

    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.

    Walter Varanda is working with São Paulo's adult street population to ensure their basic survival and promote their long-term independence. He is engaging a wide array of individuals and institutions to encourage their active participation in crafting and implementing solutions to Brazil's homelessness problem.

    Wilson Passeto is empowering ordinary citizens to take steps to combat urban water scarcity, by providing them with a series of incentives and technical innovations to reduce their water consumption. He offers training and support to a growing cohort of “water agents,” who then help to change the habits and behavior of their friends and colleagues, fostering a major culture shift across Brazil.

    Dissatisfied with the poor performance of Brazil in the field of information technologies and software development and convinced that the country had enormous creative potential, Silvio Meira created the Recife Centre for Advanced Studies and Systems (CESAR) in 1996. A unique, public-private non-profit institute which has become an extraordinary catalyst to innovation in software development, academic excellence, and private sector investment in the region.

    Based on his experience as a penitentiary system inmate, Ronaldo Monteiro is transforming how society views convicts. By constructing support networks and promoting entrepreneurialism, he is proving that ex-prisoners can be productive members of society and can break the cycle of repeat-offending.