WHO ARE WE?
Blessings for Brazil, Inc. is a non-profit dedicated to improving the lives of Brazilian children by supporting teachers, projects, and schools with micro-level grants and resources.
• Providing micro-level grants.
• Providing support for local community organizational sustainability projects.
• Providing educational materials to enhance instruction; and,
• Supporting special projects.
Blessings for Brazil is free from political affiliations. We welcome the ideas of all who seek to improve education for children in need.
Dr. Lauri Francis earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Education from Baruch College. She also has two Masters from Teachers College, Columbia University in International Education and Curriculum and Teaching, and has completed her Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Change from Fielding Graduate University. Dr. Francis is a member of the various anthropological, educational, and international associations.
Dr. Raymond Cummings Jr. earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in English and American Literature from Harvard University. He also earned a Master’s degree in English Education from the University of Florida in 2005, and a Doctorate in Curriculum and Teaching from Teachers College, Columbia University. Dr. Cummings is a member of various educational associations and community groups.
Ali Toxtli earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Hawaii Pacific University and completed his Masters at the Universidad de las Américas in Mexico. He is a community advocate who is passionate about immigrant and Latin American issues. Ali is a member of various educational associations and is an advocate for community development.
SOME OF OUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Serviced the educational needs of over 500 children
Provided over 400 books
Transformed two libraries
Provided over 200 English language materials
Increased over 100 children's participation in music and art projects
Provided over 70 students with English language classes.
The best way to understand Lauri’s love of Brazil, starts on one of her early trips. On Easter morning in 2007, Lauri looked out of the apartment window. She saw a sully boy and girl sitting on a street curb. As taxis, buses and bikes drove past the curb, Lauri cringed, hopeful that they would not lose their feet to the busy traffic. She wondered where their parents were. Lauri looked up and down the street, hoping that a Portuguese voice would call them away from the curb. But it never happened. She wondered if the children were from the near by favela, preparing for the busy begging day ahead. Yet, they were not begging. Instead they just sat on the curb with their fingers in the street touching the ground.
Later that day, Lauri saw the children again. They sat on a flat piece of cardboard with someone who looked like their mother. She imagined how hungry their Easter was for them. They had no Easter candy, as many children she had seen. Just the day’s dirt on their skin under the hot sun. “What could I do?” Lauri wondered. With that, she was moved to the nearest juice bar, where she bought several acai con moranga (acai with strawberry juice) and walked over to their mother. “This is for you and your children”, Lauri mouthed pointing to them. Her eyes said it all. Lauri walked away with a glimpse of satisfaction, but disappointed that she could not do more.
Lauri returned from Brazil and worked to do more through a grassroots level humanitarian project, now known as Blessings for Brazil. Lauri truly believes in blessings and has put a lot of my energy and time into developing a non-profit that can make a truly valuable difference. And now, the passion she has is growing with the help and support of active volunteers. Lauri has said, “I envision Blessings for Brazil as a way to improve the lives of children in Brazil. I want to share my blessings with at least one child, in hopes of making a difference in their life. I am fortunate to have great volunteers and supporters who share in my passion and believe we can help bless a child.”
The following are some basic statistics:
Only 2% of teachers have a Masters.
Only 50% of girls and 42% of boys attend secondary school.
As of 2004, 20% of children repeat primary grades and 21.9% repeat secondary grades.
Out of 57 countries, Brazil ranked 48th in literacy, 52nd in science, and 53rd in math.
There is a need our programs and services. The teachers can use our help to develop their skills and plan quality lessons. Also, this is of more importance when analyzing the difference between enrollment and actual attendance between primary level and secondary level schooling.
TEACHERS NEED OUR HELP TO CREATE ACADEMICALLY RIGOROUS INSTRUCTION THAT MOTIVATE STUDENTS TO CONTINUE THEIR EDUCATION.
Acquire more information on teacher education in Brazil here.
View the UNESCO report here.
*Taken from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Unicef.org and http://www.childinfo.org/files/LAC_Brazil.pdf and Veja (Brazilian Magazine)