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acao forte

“Our aim is to improve the lives of 50-60 teenagers (60% girls and 40% boys) directly and up to 1200 indirectly within the community of Campinas, Brazil through our youth education programme.”

Project Co-ordinator: Rubia Wolff
Location: Campinas, Brazil (Vila Boa Vista and Vila Parque Norte)


  • The objective is to improve the lives of very underprivileged teenagers in Campinas and their families through education.
  • This will impact dramatically their lives and create individuals with specific skills to help them secure jobs.
  • Qualified teachers are employed to teach the youths skills to support them for a better life, helping them transition from school to work place.
  • The project involves parents and community members in all its programs through monthly meetings to discuss current and new initiatives.

Description of Project

This project aims to educate teenagers 14-17 years old in Campinas (SP/Brazil) who are in vulnerable situations at personal and social risk and who live in the city’s favelas and low-income neighbourhoods. Campinas is a wealthy city with gigantic contrasts in the social pyramid, a kind of Mumbai but in Brazil. There are many shantytowns in Campinas. As a result these teenagers who have been living in these environments have very limited resources and help from the state and their poor families thus creating a vicious cycle. The project Acao Forte, we believe, can empower and help these youngsters, their families and the community they all belong to.

Ação Forte is a Brazilian registered NGO which runs a Youth Education Programme with the aim of improving lives through enhancing education, encouraging active citizenship and developing skills which contribute to entering the labour market and preparing young people from disadvantaged backgrounds for the challenges of life, with the result of helping to relieve poverty.

There are two main programmes run by Ação Forte: Young Entrepreneur Programme (YEP) for 16-17 years and the Youth Protagonism Programme (YPP) for 14-15 years.

Specifically, the program teaches skills in daily after-school classes that will have concrete value in the labour market, which include IT, English, Spanish, Business Concepts and Management, as well as values such as personal responsibility and active citizenship. The Ação Forte Project helps participants transition successfully from school to the workplace and become responsible citizens in their communities.

In addition, this project reaches over 1000 people every year in the community by hosting events and educational outreach initiatives. The students themselves, as part of their course, develop an important topic e.g. a public health issue, and run workshops, seminars, hold talks etc. in different sectors of the community such as elementary schools, local businesses and local neighbourhood resident groups. On average there are 20 indirect beneficiaries for each student on the course. The project used to be primarily funded by Pfizer Company until 2011. Without the help of Pfizer they will have limited resources to fund the project making it very difficult for them to carry on. La Vida provided USD 16K of funding to help this project continue. La Vida’s initial support purchased course materials, uniforms and provided IT, Spanish, English and Business Concepts teachers. La Vida aims to work with other foundations to find additional sources of funding for this programme. In 2010 Ação Forte was registered at CMDCA (Municipal Council for the Rights of the Child and Adolescent) and has recently obtained the registration in CMAS (Municipal Council for the Social Assistance) which is important government recognition for the work they are doing.

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