SOLD ON BEHALF OF
THE SYNERGOS INSTITUTE
TO BENEFIT THE RODA VIVA PARTNERSHIP
The harder she and her colleagues worked, the more depressing it was to Wanda Engel, high school principal in one of Rio's most violent and drug-ridden favelas (squatter settlements), every time another young person was killed in a drug related shoot-out by vigilantes or lost to crime. It was clear that something different had to be tried.
Wanda Engel and her colleagues formed an initial group of ten activists from which a lean but highly respected organization in the field of children's rights in Brazil grew. It was named Roda Viva, that meant Living Wheel in English or connecting spokes to the center. Their mission was to mobilize people from all different sectors and develop the political will to solve the problems of children's poverty. After nine tough years, the idea of the partnership has caught on like wildfire and, with the support of the federal government under its new President Fernando Henrique Cardoso, the powerful and influential private sector has joined Roda Viva's effort whose main objectives are:
* Ensuring that no child lives on the streets.
* Making it possible for families to keep their children in school, rather than sending them to work or to the
* Providing tutoring and sports activities to help young people stay out of trouble.
* Training teachers and professionals to better address the needs of poor youth.
Working out of a space donated by a university, with its highest salary at $12,000 per year, the people of Roda Viva are committed to the dream where children can gain access to decent health care and housing, education and the prospect of a job.
Ten years ago, The Synergos' Institute of New York joined Roda Viva's efforts to find solutions to children's poverty problems. This dynamic partnership has leveraged far greater material, human and technical resources, than either organization could have achieved on its own. Synergos has helped Roda Viva broaden the partnership to all sectors of society and secure financial and technical resources by connecting Roda Viva to national and international sources of support.