Project #10251

Empower 30 Indigenous Youth in Fortaleza, Brazil

by Movimento de Saude Mental Comunitaria do Bom Jardi
Ruth with her classmates
Ruth with her classmates

Hello supporters of MSMC!

Back in our April-June 2015 report, we introduced you to one of the indigenous youth that you support, Ruth. Ruth is a youth leader and member of the Anacé de Matões indigenous community. Back in 2015, she began college at the Federal University of Recôncavo Baiano for social sciences. That momentous step in her life was only made possible through the support that MSMC provided - financed by you!

So to thank you further and to help you see the impact of your dollars, today we have a reflection written by Ruth on what her experience in college has been like so far. 

My experience at college has been very rewarding and I have grown so much in the little time I have been here – even though I miss my village, my family, and my people. But I know that this is just for now, because I’m seeking knowledge not only for myself but also for everyone who has helped me get here. I love my program (in social sciences) and I couldn’t see myself doing anything else. My classroom is very diverse; there are students from all over Brazil. Since I’m far away from home (the Federal University of Recôncavo Baiano is about a 16-17 hour drive from Fortaleza), I’ve been taken in by a quilombola family (quilombolas are Brazilians who live in quilombos: quilombolas are the descendants of Afro-Brazilian slaves who escaped slave plantations and formed their own communities). They have many of the same customs and habits that my family does, so I feel like they are my family, too.

The help that I am getting is invaluable; without it, I would not be able to fulfill my dream of going to college. This is really important for my family, too. Just a little while ago, my dad lost his job and wasn’t able to pay the bills. My education will put me in a better position to support my family. But without your support, I might have gone straight to work instead of having the opportunity to pursue a higher education first.

Thank you to all of the people who helped make my college experience possible. My family, my people, and I are so grateful and so happy for your generosity. Obrigada!

Mitakuye Oyasin

Îandé Memé Maranongara

Somos Todos Parentes

We are all related

Ruth on a visit home with Father Rino & Wopila
Ruth on a visit home with Father Rino & Wopila


Monaliza, Naira and Nagila at school
Monaliza, Naira and Nagila at school

Hello Global Giving donors! Today we have a powerful and inspiring story to share with you about the impact of your donations.

Monaliza, Naira, and Nágila are sisters who recently lost their grandmother, who was their caregiver. Just a week later, they also lost their mother. All of a sudden, these sisters were orphans. At the day of the mother’s funeral, Monaliza turned to MSMC’s founder, Father Rino, and asked him, “Father please help me. My dream is to become somebody. I want to study and become somebody in life, along with my sisters.” With the funding provided to MSMC through its Global Giving campaign, MSMC was able to help them.

The sisters’ grandmother, Maria, was a volunteer with MSMC for 10 years. She taught arts and crafts, took care of the garden and participated in the theatrical group. In honor of all of her work, MSMC offered the three sisters spots in the Empowering Indigenous Youth project.

As a result, the girls have gone back to school. With the deaths in the family and the confusion and sorrow that followed, the girls hadn’t re-enrolled in school (the school year begins in February in Brazil). But with the help of MSMC, the girls were enrolled in a good private school and given school supplies, snacks, and anything else they needed to ensure their success.

With the help of MSMC, Monaliza, Naira and Nágila have reason to smile again, to hope again. They are achieving their dreams of “becoming somebody” – and YOU made it possible!

In addition to these girls, the Indigenous Youth project continues to support the following youth, who have been highlighted in prior reports:

  • Ruth – a member of the Anacé de Matões tribe. She is in college, studying social sciences.
  • Benicio – a member of the Pitaguary tribe. He is in college, studying geography.
  • Neto – a member of the Pitaguary tribe. He is in college, studying nursing.
  • Judimar – a member of the Dessana da Amazônia tribe. He is at a post-secondary technical institute, studying information technology.

If that weren’t enough, MSMC stays busy hosting a variety of events to engage its indigenous youth and build strong community ties:

  • MSMC hosted a high school graduation party for Pitaguary indigenous youth.
  • Pitaguary indigenous youth participated in a workshop on the Systemic Community Approach designed by MSMC at the State University of Ceará in Fortaleza, Ceará, Brazil.
  • Pitaguary indigenous youth participated in a key MSMC event called “Taking Care of the Caregiver.”
  • MSMC staff made house calls to Pitaguary families, providing medical and psychiatric help when needed.
  • MSMC staff visited the indigenous communities of the Anacé people of São Gonçalo and Retomada de Japuara.

As a new school year commences in Brazil, MSMC wants to give special thanks to its donors for helping keep youth on the path to success – and making sure that even devastating events like the death of a parent or caregiver won’t prevent a youth from “becoming somebody.”

the girls at MSMC headquarters
the girls at MSMC headquarters



Hello supporters of MSMC! We have great news to share with you – great news that is only made possible through your financial support!

Several of the indigenous youth that this project supports passed the competitive college entrance exam – the vestibular – and are now ready for a new phase in their academic and professional development! This is an enormous accomplishment, as going to college is not common in their communities. What’s more, these youth will apply their college education to helping their communities, a pay-it-forward model that creates sustainable growth.

Here are these exemplar youth:

  • Ruth: she is a member of the Anacé de Matões indigenous community, and she is in her third semester at the Social Sciences School of the Federal University of Recôncavo Baiano
  • Benicio: he is a member of the Pitaguary de Monguba indigenous community and he will be studying Geography at the Federal University of Ceará
  • Neto: he is a member of the Pitaguary de Santo Antônio and he will be studying Nursing at the Metropolitan College of Fortaleza
  • Andreza: she is a member of the Pitaguary de Horto indigenous community and she will be studying Psychology at the Metropolitan College of Fortaleza

A big CONGRATULATIONS to Ruth, Benicio, Neto, and Andreza – the face of a new generation of indigenous youth achieiving their dreams!

If you would like to help more indigenous youth get to college, consider donating just $5 or $10 to our project. We are almost there and every dollar counts!

Sending indigenous youth to college is not the only form of higher education support made possible through donors like you. In the last few months, MSMC has also been able to enroll several students in technical certification programs at the Maracanaú Technical School. In terms of other projects, indigenous youth have been busy participating in various community events, including one focused on promoting the work of people who collect recyclable materials, a festival for the Day of the Child, and community leadership meetings. MSMC also made visits to the indigenous communities of Anacé de São Gonçalo and Retomada de Japuara. Ever concerned with the well-being of future indigenous generations, MSMC also continues to work to prevent drug and alcohol addiction among indigenous youth through its Yes to Life project.

Committed to its mission of promoting human rights for all, MSMC also supported the participation of Pitaguary youth in a Promotion of Peace event in partnership with the Federal University of Ceará.

Committed to its mission of serving the local community, MSMC members have also made house calls to the homes of Pitaguary families in Monguba and Santo Antônio, providing psychiatric, psychological, medical, and social work help as needed.

Last but not least, 2015 finished on a special note with a visit from Global Giving representative Natalie Russell. She stayed at MSMC headquarters and found it to be a very fulfilling experience. Everyone enjoyed this opportunity to better understand Global Giving’s work and to thank Global Giving for helping MSMC have a global reach!

So, congratulations again to our college goers, and thanks again to all of you for your donations - every dollar counts!

Mitakuye Oyasin

Îandé Memé Maranongara

Somos Todos Parentes

We are all Related

Ruth & Benicio with Global Giving
Ruth & Benicio with Global Giving's Natalie R.


Neto with his family
Neto with his family

My name is Neto and I participate in MSMC’s Indigenous Youth Achieving Their Dreams project. Today I’m going to tell you the story of how I received my first higher education degree, in nursing, on my way to becoming a doctor. It wouldn’t have been possible without MSMC, so thank you for your support of this amazing organization. Without it, my dreams wouldn’t come true!

MSMC has been working in my community since 2007 through a project called “Sim a Vida,” or Yes to Life. The focus of the project is not only helping youth stay away from bad influences like drugs, but also to help them connect to their indigenous roots, as we are Pitaguary. I not only participated in the project as a youth, but was also a volunteer. I helped youth learn about how to get engaged in their community, what the political structure of the Pitaguary is, how to celebrate indigenous culture, and more.

One day, in 2010, Father Rino asked the youth in my community what we wanted to be and what we would do to help our community. I knew my answer right away and said, “I want to be a doctor.” Father Rino got really excited and gave me a lot of support. He told me that becoming a doctor was about helping the community, about helping the most abandoned and excluded among us.

Soon after, the great indigenous leader Lakota Adam from the United States came to visit us. While he was here, we did the sacred sauna ritual. I realized that this ritual was part of my path to becoming a doctor because I want to work in my indigenous community and strengthening my connection to the Pitaguary culture will help me be a better doctor.

Over the years, I became more and more involved with MSMC. In 2011, I was one of 30 indigenous students who received scholarships to attend the private high school Pia Marta Montese. I graduated from high school and although I still wanted to go to college to become a doctor, the entrance exam (the vestibular) is really competitive, so I decided to first complete a technical degree in nursing at the technical school of Maracanaú. The Indigenous Youth Achieving Their Dreams project paid for my studies.

On October 30, 2015, I proudly received my diploma. It wasn’t easy and I still have a long way to go. But I will not give up! On November 22nd I will take the vestibular in hopes of getting into medical school. I know that MSMC will continue to be there with me every step of the way and I am forever grateful to have this organization in my life.

Thank you again for supporting my dreams!

Mitakuye Oyasin.

Îandé Memé Maranongara

Somos Todos Parentes

We are all related.

Neto with Natalia, staff at MSMC
Neto with Natalia, staff at MSMC
Neto with his professor
Neto with his professor
Neto with Father Rino & Father Rino
Neto with Father Rino & Father Rino's parents


Ruth with a dream catcher body art
Ruth with a dream catcher body art

Report for April through June 2015

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ruth (Anacé). Ruth is a youth leader and member of the Anacé de Matões indigenous community, traditionally located in an area known as São Gonçalo do Amarante on the outskirts of Fortaleza. At 18, Ruth dreamed of going to college. In 2014, when she was still a junior in high school, she took the college entrance exams known as ENEM and vestibular and was admitted to the Federal University of Recôncavo Baiano for social sciences.

Ruth thanks all of MSMC’s Global Giving supporters, for going to college would not have been possible without the Indigenous Youth Achieving their Dreams project. MSMC gave her constant support to make sure she never gave up on her dream, even though this meant moving to another state (Bahia), where she would be far from her people and her family. Ruth is now so excited with this achievement that she’s already dreaming of a master’s degree in Anthropology and how she’ll use her studies to come back to her community and improve it.

Congratulations Ruth! We are so proud of you!

In addition to helping Ruth achieve her dreams, here’s what else we’ve accomplished these last few months:

  • Matriculated new students in various technical classes at the Technical School of Maracanaú.
  • Padre Rino, Spiritual Leader Pajé Barbosa, and members of the Pitaguary indigenous group participated in the Anti-Insane Asylum Week hosted at a local university. They dialogued with Psychology students about mental health for indigenous populations.
  • MSMC participated in the Free Land Camp during National Indigenous Mobilization Week as part of a delegation of 50 indigenous people from the state of Ceará to protest a proposed bill that would allow the National Congress, rather than the National Indian Foundation, to determine the borders of indigenous territories.
  • Conducted house visits to Pitaguary families in Monguba and Santo Antônio where medical and psychiatric services were rendered when necessary.
  • Visited the indigenous communities of São Gonçalo and Retomada de Japuara.
  • Met with the leadership and members of the Pitaguary school in Monguba about preventing substance abuse among children and youth.
  • Hosted two Bolivian volunteers, Coco and Bitia, as well as 15 Italians who work in social services, who came to learn about MSMC’s model.
  • Participated in traditional community festivals and indigenous spiritual rituals (Indian Day, Toré dance, Pajelança, and sweat lodge).  


  • The first half of 2015 saw MSMC address the huge challenge of preventing substance abuse among the young. Unfortunately, substance abuse is prevalent in all of Brazil’s most vulnerable populations, including its indigenous ones. With that backdrop, MSMC inaugurated an anti-substance abuse center that can serve up to 60 youths with educational and youth development programming. The Indigenous Youth Achieving their Dreams project – the project you make possible! – fully supports this initiative, and is helping youth remain free from the types of dependencies that could prevent them from achieving their dreams.

Thank you once again for your generous support. We couldn’t do it without you!

Mitakuye Oyasin

Îandé Memé Maranongara

Somos Todos Parentes

We are all related

Benicio painting Ruth with indigenous art
Benicio painting Ruth with indigenous art
Ruth with Adam Little Elk, Lakota Sioux Tribe (US)
Ruth with Adam Little Elk, Lakota Sioux Tribe (US)



About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information

Movimento de Saude Mental Comunitaria do Bom Jardi

Location: Fortaleza, Ceara - Brazil
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Ottorino Bonvini
Fortaleza, CE Brazil
$7,507 raised of $10,000 goal
145 donations
$2,493 to go
Donate Now
Donating through GlobalGiving is safe, secure, and easy with many payment options to choose from. Learn more.
Add Project to Favorites

Help raise money for this important cause by creating a personalized fundraising page for this project.

Start a Fundraiser

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence


Woman Holding a Gift Card
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter
WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.