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    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.

    Joao Claudio has long sought the most effective way to serve the poor: first as a Jesuit, then as a social activist, and now as a doctor developing novel ways of providing first-class health care to Brazil's slum dwellers.

    Raquel Barros' new approach is rehabilitating young, low-income, chemically dependent mothers, an underserved population in Brazil.

    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.

    Jose Marmo da Silva (Brazil 1996) is a dentist working in the public health system in Rio de Janeiro, and an "oga," or initiate of the African Brazilian religion of Candomble. Jose believes that Western style AIDS-prevention campaigns do not work in the Afro-Brazilian context. Therefore he is designing a customized campaign for AIDS prevention/education in the Afro-Brazilian community.

    Merula Steagall has thalassemia—a rare hereditary blood disease—but has always led a normal life. Aware of the low quality of life for the majority of thalassemia patients in Brazil, she has used her knowledge of business to communicate with diverse partners about the democratization of access to health information and quality treatments. Through her work, Merula has doubled the life expectancy of patients, and is beginning to work on a broader range of blood diseases.

    Through her organization Instituto Oncoguia, Luciana empowers cancer patients with information and personalized support, enabling them to take an active role in their treatment and recovery, while at the same leading changes in how society and health institutions view and treat the disease in Brazil.

    Daniel Kish is transforming the blindness profession and the lives of people around the world through a model of perceptual navigation that is more respectful of blind dignity and purpose, easier to teach, learn, and use, and is more diversely applicable to all ages, cultures, backgrounds, and ability profiles.

    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.