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    Edvalda Torres is developing a new approach to rural education that demonstrates community engagement in the educational process and employs a curriculum that is organized around everyday experience and pressing community needs. She is implementing that approach in a highly successful rural school in a poor community in the interior of the state of Pernambuco, Brazil.

    Daniel Becker, a pediatrician with a background in public health, promotes citizen responsibility for community health, engaging residents, local business, and government to commit resources and act responsibly. Drawing on Daniel's innovative community-participation programs, citizens develop local networks to advance quality of life in the Brazilian urban slum settlements known as favelas.

    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.

    Without legally established paternity, 30 percent of Brazil’s children raised by single mothers face lifelong stigma and limited financial means. Marli da Silva promotes the full citizenship and material and affective support of children abandoned by their fathers by supporting single mothers. She is reforming the legal system, changing public perceptions and mobilizing mothers to improve their lives.

    In rural Argentina, hundreds of small towns are slowly dying as factories close down and young people move away to the cities. Dario Funes found that to keep small towns alive, it was important that people make jobs for themselves rather than just hoping for factories to return.

    Karla Emmanuela Hora's collaborative approach to involve families on rural land reform settlements in planning their future production and constructing their new community is creating more productive and sustainable land reform in Brazil.

    Silvia is working to balance social development and community-building with environmental conservation, focusing on sustainability over the long term. Working from this vision, she is the first Brazilian to address biological imbalances caused by foreign plant species. Unlike the United States and Australia, which carefully control nonnative vegetation, Brazil has neither public policies nor legal limitations on the growth of species that degrade the quality of soil and crops.

    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.

    Soledad Martinez is ensuring access to nutritious, chemical-free food for hospital patients, abandoned children, the poor, and the elderly by developing organic farms on abandoned plots and vacant institutional land.

    A recognized and respected leader in the area of human rights, Oscar Vilhena Vieira has pioneered the creation of a range of projects and activities in the human rights field both, in Brazil, to ensure that human rights guaranteed in the constitution come to be respected in practice and, at the international level, to change the focus from North-South linkages to South-South dialogue and cooperation.