Claudia Cabral, founder of Terra dos Homens, on the social workers and psychologists trying to help 24,000 children in appalling conditions
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Why did you start Terra dos Homens in 1996?
While studying for my degree in psychology, I spent some time at my grandmother’s shelter and I saw children facing some incredibly difficult situations. I decided then that I would try to do something to help.

After starting my career in a large government shelter, I worked for the Swiss-based Terre des Hommes in international adoption. I convinced the organisation to develop a national adoption programme and to invest in the prevention of family separation. After 15 years, they asked me to create a local, independent non-governmental organisation. Because Terre des Hommes [literally “land of people”] was already well established in Rio de Janeiro, I kept the name and translated it to the Brazilian.

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