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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.
Maria Lucia Gulassa has developed and is setting out to spread simple, effective new approaches to caring for infants and children in the daycare centers, nurseries, and institutions of Sao Paulo, especially those serving its poor majority.
Educator and theater director Mauricio Leite creates excitement about learning and the world of ideas even in remote regions of the Amazon. His Project Suitcase succeeds in isolated areas where expensive literacy campaigns have failed, largely because he gives teachers attractive means and simple methods to make learning fun.
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.
Using sustainable technologies, José Roberto da Fonseca e Silva is recreating how remote rural communities in semi-arid regions cope with drought by tailoring a micro productive and commercialization system with high aggregate value products.
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.
In the vast peripheries of Sao Paulo, the poor suffer human rights violations, such as police violence, every day. Valdênia Paulino defends their rights by providing them with education and access to legal mechanisms of protection. Courses on legal rights identify patterns of systematic abuse while local public hearings ensure such abuses are dealt with properly.
Building on his personal, educational, and professional experience with the Brazilian penitentiary system, Roberto da Silva is implementing a comprehensive system for community co-management of prisons that provides citizen institutions with the technical training and partnerships necessary to turn these centers of violence into productive rehabilitation institutions.
Fernando Assad is preventing major health risks and bringing dignity to those in Brazil who live in unsafe homes with his home improvement kit. In addition to the kit, his organization Vivenda creates incentives for volunteers, builders, the government, and companies from the housing construction supply chain to provide safer housing for the millions living in inadequate homes.