Charity fights for the rights of street children in Brazil
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.