Grant Status $0 needed

Helping students for lunch money and teachers for salaries +
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This will be the second phase of funding for Solar.

Solar Meninos de Luz is both a school and a philanthropic civic organization founded in 1991 to provide educational and social support to 400 children and teenagers living in a Rio de Janeiro slum area. Solar’s vision or mission is to educate children holistically—not just academically, but also culturally, physically and morally—in order to provide them with the same opportunities as students from more affluent social areas. It is impossible to emphasize the importance of Solar in the students’ lives, as they receive comprehensive education along with other important aspects of social care, including access to a free medical and dental clinic, a community library and extracurricular activities such as music, theater and English lessons.

The school is currently in need of serious refurbishment and development, but two of its greatest needs are providing nutritious food for its students (aged 3 months to 18 years old)—who remain at school from 8am to 5pm—as well as paying the salaries of elementary school teachers. Solar relies entirely upon grants, partners and donations to operate, so any and every bit counts!


Although Solar was officially founded as a school in 1991, social assistance in the area began in 1983 after a disaster in which a water tower collapsed, destroying a number of homes and killing a few people. Members of the Brazilian Spiritist church began to volunteer in the aftermath of the crisis, quickly seeing the need for ongoing support and thus developing several more regular outreach programs, including providing food, clothes and eventually educational support. Solar was born out of these programs as the infrastructure of a school was slowly developed. A nursery was formed in 1998 at the request of families from the community in order to allow parents to work during the day. Each subsequent year, a new grade was established to allow children to remain at school for longer, thus increasing family income. Today, 400 students aged 3 months to 18 years old benefit from full day care and education


By donating to Solar, you are directly contributing both to the education and social development of children from nursery to high-school age, as well as supporting the teachers who allow the school to provide consistent and high-quality instruction. Solar’s benefits also extend beyond its students and into the community at large, running several programs that provide social assistance to families, including access to free medical and dental services, emergency social care as well as lectures, workshops, meetings and general school events. In total, there were roughly 1,100 beneficiaries of Solar in 2008 alone.

Team Credentials

Solar Meninos de Luz is a civic organization in and of itself, but it is generously supported by three main partners: the local Spiritist Church, the Paulo Coelho Foundation and UniverCidade, a local university. It has successfully sustained itself for 18 years and represents a growing and important force in one of Rio de Janeiro’s poorest areas.



  • Matthew Goodwin Boston, Massachusetts, USA
    • $1500 Pledged
    • $1480 Total Donated
  • Hila Levy Oxford, UK
    • $50 Pledged
    • $50 Total Donated