Brazil – Resource Centre

Partner: United Group for Black Awareness (GRUCON)

In Brazil, black people face racial and cultural discrimination regularly and suffer disproportionately from poverty and unemployment. GRUCON is a community based, grassroots NGO in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil that works to empower black communities. They offer after-school programs for children and youth to give them a positive cultural identity. They also work to organize and mobilize community members to take action for their rights.

Change for Children Association (CFCA) will help build a community centre in Bahia that will house GRUCON programs.

Partner: The Free Association of the People of Mangueira (ALMM)

The Associação Livre de Moradores de Mangueira (ALMM) was founded in November 1979 to support formative and cultural education in the barrio of Mangueira, Bahia, in northeastern Brazil. The ALMM’s activities include: a literacy and education program (school) called Educate to Liberate; African history and cultural awareness programs; a variety of income-generating initiatives including artisan cooperatives, a community snack bar and luncheonette; a street vendors program for young children; a food-buying cooperative; apprenticeship programs; and a community health post.

Since 1986, CFCA has supported four successful projects with ALMM in the area: the establishment of the Educate to Liberate school; the Little Entrepreneurs program, a street vendors support program for young children; and an initiative to expand the ALMM community programs and increase community participation. CFCA’s most recent project with ALMM has continued this expansion by supporting projects to educate people about their role in community development.

Partner: Alagoas State Federation of Small Agriculturalists (CEAPA)

The Central Estadual das Associações dos Assentados e de Pequenos Agricultores de Alagoas (CEAPA) is a land reform movement which represents approximately 15 000 peasants from 30 communities in the state of Alagoas. The movement is made up of both freeholders of small parcels of productive land and actual agrarian reform settlements. The peasants in Alagoas have been subject to forced removals from the land that they inherited. CEAPA, formerly part of Sem Terra, a national movement which secures land for dispossessed peasants, has raised a strong united voice in the state and has succeeded in securing land titles for several communities.
CFCA has helped CEAPA develop its institutional base and has supported several development initiatives in the settlements.

Partner: Our Lady of Conception Community Centre

The Centro Comunitario Nossa Senhora da Conceicao (Our Lady of Conception Community Centre) is based in the community of Bebedouro in the city of Maceio, Alagoas, Brazil. Their mandate is the recovery of citizenship and self-esteem of children, youth and women in the communities of Cha de Bebedouro and Cha de Jaquiera.

In 1993, CFCA supported a project to develop and implement literacy programs in these communities. In 1997, we supported the Street Children Outreach project. This project was part of a larger initiative entitled the Children’s Development Project. This project helped establish vocational training workshops and it expanded the cultural, recreational, and artistic activities of the Centre. Our most recent project with the Centre enhanced the activities in the area and helped to solidify the long term stability and financial viability of the Community Centre.

Fundo de Pasto (CAFP)

The Central das Associações de Fundo e Fecho de Pasto (CAFP) is an umbrella group of 60 member associations formed to acquire stronger bargaining power, especially in pressuring for collective land titles and government investment in production. This mandate has been expanded to include protection and promotion of the land rights for small producers and to promote sustainable development in general. CAFP is a legally incorporated and registered civic organization as per the laws of the state of Bahia. Fundo de Pasto refers to the traditional system of land administration in the state, whereby a limited number of families use common grazing areas for goat, sheep, and, on a lesser scale, mixed blood cattle. In addition to the 60 current member organizations, CAFP offers support to some 30 to 40 other associations in various phases of the process of organization and incorporation.

Since 1992, CFCA supported a project for the development of bee-keeper and traditional healer networks in Bahia, as well as goat herder training. Through this initiative, CFCA came into contact with the concept of Fundo de Pasto and the CAFP and have endorsed and supported their projects with St. Joseph’s Save the Children Club. When St. Joseph’s Club was unable to continue the partnership, CFCA offered to take their place.

In 1997, CFCA supported CAFP in the land titling process for a number of new associations. CFCA facilitated economic development, herd enhancement, and they helped to dig 200 shallow wells. CFCA’s most recent initiative followed up on the successes of previous projects by supporting capacity-building of the organizations in the areas of management and administration.

Zumbi Centre for the Defense of the Rights of Children and Adolescents

Established in 1991 in the state of Alagoas in northeast Brazil, The Centro de Defesa dos Direitos da Criança e do Adolescente Zumbi dos Palmares (Zumbi Centre) is a group of professionals who promote the rights of children and ensure that various levels of government comply with Brazil’s Statute on the Rights of Children and Adolescents (adopted in 1990).

From 1992 to 1995, CFCA assisted in the “Alternative Project for Support of Street Boys and Girls”. This project provided support for the Zumbi Centre in its early activities, and helped them establish their reputation in the community. Since that time, the Centre has updated us on their activities by sending us regular reports and publications. Additionally, children and workers from other CFCA partner projects in the area have used the services of the Zumbi Centre in cases of abuse, prosecution, and, on at least two occasions, the murder of street children.

The Association of the Child and Adolescent of Cha de Bebedouro

In Maceio, the Association of the Child and Adolescent of Cha de Bebedouro works to empower children, youth and women in the very poor communities of Cha de Bebedouro and Cha de Jaquiera. CFCA supported these initiatives which provide community members with vocational training workshops and provide children and youth with cultural, recreational, and artistic activities.


CFCA supported a project to provide shelter and refuge to abandoned children in Palmeria dos Indios, Alagoas. The shelter housed approximately 100 boys and 40 girls. The project offered carpentry, farming, jewelry-making and crochet stitching classes.

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